Critical Analysis of Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce Et Decorum Est”

1164 words 5 pages
Critical Analysis of Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est” Wilfred Owen’s poem “Dulce et Decorum Est”, is a powerful poem with graphical lifelike images on the reality of war. It is blatantly apparent that the author was a soldier who experienced some of the most gruesome images of war. His choice of words, diction, tone, syntax, and metaphor’s paint a vivid picture in a brilliant poem. His choice for the poem’s name is ironical in itself. The entire phrase is “Dulce et Decorum Est Pro patria mori”, which basically translates to “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country”. This was a common theme told to young soldiers during the First World War. The phrase itself came from a Roman poet named Horace. The argumentative claim …show more content…
This scene demonstrates the distinct sounds of the soldier dying that will stay with him forever. The reader gets the audible sense as well as a visual scene of a young man dying as they read this passage. He states that its “Obscene as cancer,” his use of the word cancer, especially back during the First World War, was that cancer is an incurable disease that was dreaded by all, which was just as effective as if he had chosen a word such as the plague. According to Campbell, “rabidly pro-war activists who were eager to send men to die in hellish war”, which does not demonstrate the reality of war and Owen’s wanted to convey the true vivid scenes of trench warfare through his poetry (206). The author then tells the reader that they would not state with such high enthusiasm about the honor and glories of war: Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, -- My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori. (Meyer 887)
According to Norgate, “just as its barbed reference to the Horatian motto signals the rejections of something more immediate than merely a traditional philosophy of battle” (520). Norgate tells us that several poetic pieces used the same Horace line; however they were in reference to its literal meaning. It is obvious that Owen’s chose his last line carefully. He specifically states with this one line, those that utter this

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