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Dulce Et Decorum Est

4 Pages 932 Words

An Analysis of Imagery in Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce Et Decorum Est”
We have all seen the movies and read the stories of World War I. They give us an idea of what is what like to fight in a war of that great magnitude. The battles were bloody, horrifying, and ferocious. “Dulce Et Decorum Est” is a great poem written by war poet Wilfred Owen. It involves a tragic war situation. His imagery gives detail to what is was like on the battlefield, and also to state what his thought is on the war.
In the first two stanzas’s Owen describes how the soldiers are trudging back to camp from battle. The soldiers are fatigued and wounded as they return to the campsite. The men are walking asleep, ignoring the blast of gas shells in the background:
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards are distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
The way Owen describes the trudge back to camp allows the reader to open their minds to the events that are occurring. This allows them to see the reality that the war was for the soldiers. I believe Owen’s use of these images are aimed at discouraging the thought of war.
In the third stanza Owen is describing a gas attack on the soldiers as they are trudging back to camp. Owen describes the soldiers fumbling to get their mask fastened, all but one, a lone soldier. He is struggling to get his mask on but doesn’t get it fastened quickly enough and suffers from the effects of mustard gas:
Gas! Gas! Quick boys! -An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone st...

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