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Dulce et decorum est di Wilfred Owen: analysis

Dulce et decorum est di Wilfred Owen: analysis

Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

Preface to his poetry
Owen says that hi poetry was not about heroes, about legends, or lands, or glory, honour, majesty, power; his poetry was about war. The subject of his poetry in particular is the pity of the war (= the sufferance of the soldiers).
Owen speaks also about the role of the poet: he has to inform all the people who haven't a direct experience of the war, the real war, in order to avoid other conflicts in future.
DULCE ET DECORUM EST ANALYSIS LINE BY LINE
Dulce et decorum est. Fist stanza:
Description of a group of soldiers that are coming back from the battle.
Lines 1-2: there are two similes:
-"Bent double like old beggars under sacks"ï  Tenor: soldiers; Vehicle: old beggars; Ground: the same appearance.
-"Coughing like hags" Tenor: soldiers; Vehicle: hags (witches); Ground: bad health.
   Both these similies show us the war as something that transforms young people into old men.
Line 3: the soldiers are coming back from the battlefield.
Uh! Bernarddo cua Uh! The soldiers: -have a bad health; -are bad equipped (Line 5 "Many had lost their boots"); -are tired (Line 5: "Men marched asleep" Line 7: "Drunk with fatigue"
Lines 7-8: the situation is dangerous because of the probability of a gas attack but the soldiers are too tired not to worry about this.
Dulce et decorum est di Owen: analisi dettagliata della poesia

WILFRED OWEN DULCE ET DECORUM EST ANALISI
Second Stanza. As they are coming back there is a gas attackPanic
Lines 9-10-11-12: They put on their masks just in time  but someone doesn't put on his mask in time and so he shouts, he falls and he moves with great difficult because of the gas.
Simile: "like a man in fire of lime": -Tenor: the soldier that is dying; -Vehicle: a man in fire of lime; -Ground: they suffer. This simile expresses the suffering of that soldier.
Lines 13-14: The poet sees the soldier drows in gas but he doesn't but he can't see the man very well because of the misty panes of his helmet and also because of the green light, caused by the gas.
Simile: "green light as under a green see" : -Tenor: green light of gas; Vehicle: sea; Ground: colour. This simile expresses the contrast between the feeling of pleasure you associate with the sea and the tragic atmosphere because of the gas. (IRONY).
Modern Age: riassunto

DULCE ET DECORUM EST THEME AND MESSAGE
Third stanza. This stanza is set in present. The poet, in all his dreams, continues to see the soldier that is falling towards him, guttering, choking, and drowning in the gas and he remembers that he couldn't help the soldier. This stanza wants to underline that the war didn't bring only material consequences (the death of the soldiers) but also psychological consequences (the poet can't forget that scene and continue to have nightmares about it).

 
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De Bello Gallico, libro VI cap 22
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Lettere a Lucilio (Seneca) Libro X - Lettera I
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Lettere a Lucilio (Seneca) Libro XI - Lettera I
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