English 2, Sec. 3TX
April 24, 2008
“Dulce et Decorum Est” and “Anthem for Doomed Youth”
Wilfred Owen’s poetry has a distinctive1 style and he writes about particular concerns. The main concerns of his poems are the waste of young lives at war, and the pain and suffering a lot of people endure. This can be seen by the poems “Anthem for Doomed Youth” and “Dulce et Decorum Est.”2 Whereas "Anthem for Doomed Youth" simply conveys a cumulative weight of society's sorrow and loss, "Dulce et Decorum Est," a much more powerful poem, conveys the author's contempt and outrageous anger for soldiers' suffering and society's hypocrisy.
Owen’s own biography tells us of the personal traumas he suffered as a soldier and of his anger at British complacency and denial about the war. According to Saxon Books and James Mitchell, “Wilfred Owen was born in 1893 in Oswestry, Shropshire. When he came of age he went to college at Birkenhead Institute and Shrewsbury Technical College” [(http://www. warpoetry. co.uk/ owena.htm, Brief Life of Wilfred Owen),] where he became acquainted with the poetry of Keats and Shelley. Saxon Books and James Mitchell explain Owen’s3 further influences, both in his poetry and his reactions to the war: “Owen began writing poetry while he was in school, but it wasn’t until he joined the military in 1915 and went to war that his poems began to mature. In 1917, Owen suffered shell shock from trench warfare and was sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital near Edinburgh” [(http://www.warpoetry. co.uk/ owena.htm, Wilfred Owen’s first encounter with the reality of war).] It was here that Owen met Siegfried Sassoon , who helped Owen improve his writing techniques and molded him into the poet we now see today. Owen’s views on the “lie”(“Dulce” 27) can be explained by his condemnation of the horrors of war, and the brutal truth that his poem’s4 reveal. In poems such as “Dulce Decorum Est” and “Anthem for doomed Youth,”5 Owen...