Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Comparing two war poems written by Wilfred Owen: Dulce et decorum Est E

Comparing two war poems written by Wilfred Owen: Dulce et decorum Est and Anthem for Doomed Youth. In this essay I will be comparing two war poems written by Wilfred Owen: ‘Dulce et decorum Est’ and ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’. By comparing the two I will be able to distinguish the fact that Wilfred Owen is very anti-propaganda and why he feels so strongly about this. The two poems have many similarities but also a fair amount of differences, which I will be discussing in this essay. The two poems have a strongly anti war message and in both the victims of war are the young men who’s lives are wasted. ‘Dulce et decorum Est’ uses the description of a gas attack to show how horrific the reality of war is. Owen describes the victim with, ‘The white eyes writhing in his face†¦the blood†¦gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs.’ The physical horror of this helps to shape his message. It is addressed to the propaganda poet Jessie Pope and tells her that it is a lie to say that it is sweet and honorable to die for one’s country. A similar message in ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ describes the slaughtered young men who ‘die as cattle’. Owen expresses his anger in a set of contrasts between a real funeral and the lack of a funeral for these young men. For example, instead of a service with a choir, they only have ‘the shrill demented choirs of wailing shells’. As you would expect, the tone and mood of both poems is deeply serious as Owen has a strong message in both of them. However, they are different. ‘Dulce et decorum Est’ expresses a great deal of horror and anger. The horror is set aside for the terrible pain and terror of the gas attack, not only for the victim but also for the poet. He writes, ‘In a... ...ack, making a strong message to contradict the vague, Latin phrase about how sweet it is to die for your country. In ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ Owen develops a singe image, the idea of the funeral ceremony for the dead. The first line asks about the ‘passing bells’ and the rest of the octave describes the various sounds of war, which are substituted for the funeral bells. This includes the ‘monstrous anger of guns’, the rattling of the riffles and the wailing of the shells. The sestet begins by asking where are the candles for the funeral service but goes on to tell us that ‘holy glimmers of goodbyes’ in the eyes of the boy soldiers will have to instead. The funeral cloth placed over the coffin is replaced by ‘the pallor of girls brows’. Instead of flowers, they have ‘the tenderness of patient minds’. All the images are based on the original comparison.

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