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"Dulce Et Decorum Est" and "An Irish Airman Forsees His Death"

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 01:28 AM
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Analysis of two war poems

By Thomas McGregor 6E





I am going to compare the two poems “Dulce et decorum est” by Wilfred Owen and “Channel Firing” by Thomas Hardy. The poem by Hardy talks about the great German guns “Big Berthas” which fired across the channel at the nearest coastal villages, and how the noise of these guns is so terrific that it wakes the dead in their graves. “Dulce et decorum est” is a poem about a group of tired, worn out soldiers who are making their way back from the front line. They come under a gas attack and Owen describes to us the scene which is presented to him of a fellow soldier and companion “drowning” in his own mucus. Both poems portray a sense of helplessness to this exposure to the war!

In the poem “Dulce et decorum est” we are being told of the gas attack directly by Owen in the first person plural. It is an immensely vivid description that Owen describes to us and his message is hits the reader right between the eyes with its certitude. In the poem “Channel Firing”, however, Hardy uses two narrative voices. One is the voice of the dead who describe being awoken by the noise of the great guns, the other is God! IN this the message is more abstract because of the way Hardy jokes with us about the war and Gods views on it.

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 all the young men dying in the war were dieing 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 it really was. He explains in his poem that people will encourage you to fight for your country, but, in reality, fighting for your country is simply...

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