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Wilfred Owen Case

Essay by   •  October 14, 2013  •  Essay  •  595 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,398 Views

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In the poem Dulce et Decorum Est Wilfred Owen conveys the theme of horrors of war through various different moods captured with diction and syntax.

In the first half of the poem, different types of diction and syntax are shown to be asserting not only an ironic mood, but a scary mood as well. Euphonious diction is created when the men are in the battlefield and "gas shells dropping softly behind" (Owen 8) which asserts an ironic mood. The fact that there are deadly "gas shells" dropping "softly" (Owen 8) (which portrays euphonious diction) behind the soldiers shows the irony that Owen is conveying.

The "gas shells" being dropped down on the soldiers and brutally killing them further demonstrates the theme of the horrors of war. Also in the first half, imperative syntax is portrayed when the speaker exclaims, "Gas! GAS! Quick boys!" asserting a scary mood.

The troops are being ordered to go for cover to escape death, which is made obvious when the words "Gas!" (Owen 9) are yelled out. This shows a scary mood because if any of this gas reaches the soldier's lungs it could be the difference between life and death, demonstrating the horrors of war.

While the first half of the poem portrays an ironic and and a scary mood, there is a shift in the second half of the poem to a rather sickening and shameful mood.

In the second half of the poem, cacophonous diction is shown through a man being described when he is flung into a wagon "the white eyes writhing in his face,/His hanging face, like devil's sick of sin" (Owen 19-20) portraying a sickening mood. The fact that the man that they are watching is described as a "devil" the lord of Hell who commits nothing but treason and sin, is actually "sick of sin" (Owen 20) advocates the cacophonous diction. To actually stand there and watch a poor soul's "white eyes writhing in his face" (Owen 19) asserts the sickening mood through cacophonous diction. The sickening mood of "Devils" (Owen 20) who have actually had more sin than they can bare, or having to watch a human being like yourself's "white eyes writhing" demonstrate the horrors of war. Also in the second half of the poem, declarative syntax is presented when "my friend, you would not tell with such high zest/The old Lie" (Owen 25,27) asserting a mood of shame. Although many people do, it is not right to talk about the glory of war, because for anyone who has actually been to war, they know that there is no glory, which conveys the mood of shame to those who have never even gone to war and sit in the comfort of their home, talking to friends and family about the so called glory that war represents.

The speaker is making a hard statement through declarative syntax when he states, "you would not tell with

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