Analysis of Dulce Et Decorum Est

By Aaron Biterman

December, 2000.

Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est" was written during his World War I experience. Owen, an officer in the British Army, deeply opposed the intervention of one nation into another.

His poem explains how the British press and public comforted themselves with the fact that, terrible that is was, all the young men dying in the war were dying noble, heroic deaths.

The reality was quite different: They were dieing obscene and terrible deaths. Owen wanted to throw the war in the face of the reader to illustrate how vile and inhumane war really is.

He explains in his poem that people will encourage you to fight for your country, but, in reality, it may simply be sentencing yourself to an unnecessary death.

The breaks throughout the poem indicate the clear opposition that Owen strikes up. The title of the poem means "Sweet and Fitting it is," and then Owen continues his poem by ending that the title is, in fact, a lie.

Aligned with powerful imagery and vast irony, the author was eventually killed in the very war he opposed. Before his death, he was thought to be one of the best poets of the Twentieth Century.

War is not worth it, as Owen proves with the lie perpetuated across the world: Sweet and fitting it is to die for one's country.


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