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Wilfred Owen

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Kyle Fick

on 9 December 2010

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Transcript of Wilfred Owen

W ilfred Owe n Dulce Et Decorum Est 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 our 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 tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind. Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,

And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .

Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,

As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,


He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est

Pro patria mori. 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 our 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 disappointed shells that dropped behind.



Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,

And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .

Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,

As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.



In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.



If in some smothering dreams you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est

Pro patria mori. A A B B C C D D E E F F G G Alliteration E E H H I I J K J K L L M M Iambic Pentameter Structured Modernism Simile Simile Metaphor Consonnance Metaphor Personification Personification Simile Metaphor Personification Metaphor Alliteration Personification Alliteration Personification Simile Alliteration Simile Personification Metaphor Personification Breaks Meter Irony at the end Onomatopia March 18, 1893 Born in Plas Wilmont, Owestry September 8, 1897 May 30, 1895 June 11, 1900 1906 September 9, 1911 October 20, 1911 February 7, 1913 September 15, 1913 July 31, 1914 May 18 October 21 November 15 March 5 June 4 June 18 September December 29 January 1-2 January 6 January 9-16 January 20 March14-15 1917 1916 1915 April 4 May 2 June 26 July 17 August 17 October 13 October 28 November 9 November 24 Sister, Mary is born Brother, Harold is born
Family Moves to Birkenhead
Starts school at Birkenhead Institute Family is Forced to move to Shrewsbury
Starts at Shrewsbury Technical School Starts as lay assistant at Dunsden, near Reading. Leaves Dunsden and returns to Shrewsbury Goes to Bordeaux to teach english at Berlitz school Becomes a tutor to Mme Leger Returns to England and Shrewsbury Enlists in Artists' Rifles Moves to Hare Hill Camp, Gidea Park, Essex as a Cadet Owen starts off by describing a group of demoralized soldiers who are returning from the front lines of battle. The men are clearly exhausted and so worn down that they are seemingly oblivious to horrors happening around them.
Suddenly there is a gas explosion and all the men fall into chaos while fumbling to put their protective masks on. However, one soldier is not successful. Owen describes the gas as a “green sea” that his comrade is “drowning” in, the narrator of the poem feels helpless to save their friend as they watch him die in agony. The image of the death of soldier remains with the narrator forever haunting his dreams “guttering, chocking, drowning”.

In the last twelve lines Owen is describing walking behind the wagon that is fellow soldier’s bodied was being carried in. Owen illustrates the look of horror on the soldiers face (sick of sin), and the effect of the gas itself on the soldiers body; “the blood come gargling from the forth corrupted lungs” and “sores on innocent tongues”.

In the final four lines of the poem, Owen offers the reader some bitter advice, urging them to stay away from the false glory put on by war, and in his final statement says that Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (it is sweet and fitting to die for ones country) is a lie. Literal Translation Modernist Poetry Characteristics

Began to appear in the early 20th Century
Moved away from the traditional structure of Romanticism
Began to experiment with meter and rhyme scheme; Free verse and blank verse were very common
Unconventional metaphors began to surface, as well as image juxtaposition, classical allusion, borrowing from other languages and meta-narrative
Parallax (multiple points of view) and fragmentation began to become common as well

Themes of Modern Poetry:

-Breakdown of social norms and cultures
-Examined the heroism of the individual in the face of adverse fortune
-Disillusionment
-Rejection of history and supplementation with a mythical past
-Stream of consciousness; Product of urban environments and overwhelming technological changes of the 20th century

Wilfred Owen's examples in Dulce Et Decorum Est:

A few examples of unconventional metaphors
Juxtaposition of the horrific images of war and the glory of dying for one's country
Borrows from Latin
Speaks of disillusionment (with war) and of technological advances of the 20th century (gas) Takes matriculation exam at the University of London and fails Goes to Officer's School, Balgores House, Gidea Park Commissioned into Manchester Regiment Reports to 5th (Reserve) Battalion, Manchester Regiment Applies for transfer to Royal Flying Corps but fails to gain entrance Embarks for France and Étaples Joins 2nd Manchesters on the Somme, near Beaumont Hamel Moves to front Holds dug-out in no-man's land In front-line again, platoon exposed to severe frost- bite Suffers concussion from a fall at Le Quesnoy-en-Santerre, evacuated to military hospital Rejoins battalion at Selency Evacuated suffering from shell-shock Arrives at Craglockhart War Hospital, Edinburgh Contributes to, and becomes editor of The Hydra Introduces himself to Siegfried Sassoon (fellow patient) Sassoon introduces him to Robert Graves Appears before Medical Board; 3 weeks leave before returning to unit Meets Arnold Bennett and H. G. Wells Joins 5th Manchesters at Scarborough 'Miners' published in The Nation 1918 Posted to Ripon Graded fit for service Rejoins 5th Manchesters at Scarborough 'Hospital Barge' and 'Futility' published in The Nation Returns to France and Étaples Moves to Amiens Partakes in the assault on Beaurevoir-Fonsomme line. Awarded M.C. Battalion rests at Hancourt Battalion takes over line west of Oise-Sambre canal, near Ors Killed during attack across the canal News of death reaches Shrewsbury. Armistice signed January 26 March 12 June 3 June 5 June 15 August 31 September 9 September 29- October 3 October 5 October 30-31 November 4 November 11 Biographic Timeline Kyle Dane Hayley Trevor Elizabeth
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