Dulce Et Decorum Est

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Dulce Et Decorum Est
By Wilfred Owen
1893-1918
Wilfred Owen
• Wilfred Owen was born om March 18,
1893.
• He was on the Continent, teaching, when
he decided to visit a hospital for the
wounded and then decided, in
September 1915, to return to England
and enlist in the war (that’s WW1).
Wilfred Owen
• He said “I came out [to the war] in
order to help these boys—directly by
leading them as well as an officer
can; indirectly, by watching their
sufferings that I may speak of them
as well as a pleader can. (October,
1918)
Wilfred Owen
• Owen was injured March 1917 and sent
home; he was fit for duty in August 1918,
and returned to the front.
• On November 4th, just seven days before
the Armistice, he was caught in a
German machine gun attack and killed.
• He was 25 years old when he died.
Wilfred Owen
• The bells were ringing on November
11, 1918, in Shrewsbury, England, to
celibrate the Armistice, when the
doorbell rang at his parent’s home,
bringing them the telegram to tell
them their son was dead.
“Dulce Et Decorum Est”
Lets look at the poem together, and
analyse it using the TPCASTT method.
When we are done, we should be able to
determine the THEME and come up with a
THEME STATEMENT.
T
P
C
Title
What do the words of the title suggest to you? What denotations are presented
in the title? What connotations or associations do the words posses?
Paraphrase
Translate the poem in your own words. What is the poem about?
Connotation What meaning does the poem have beyond the literal meaning? Fill in the chart
below.
Form
Diction
Imagery
Point of View
Details
Allusions
Symbolism
Figurative Language
Other Devices
(antithesis, apostrophe, sound
devices, irony, oxymoron,
paradox, pun, sarcasm,
understatement)
A
Attitude
What is the speaker’s attitude? How does the speaker feel about himself, about
others, and about the subject? What is the author’s attitude? How does the
author feel about the speaker, about other characters, about the subject, and the
reader?
S
T
T
Shifts
Where do the shifts in tone, setting, voice, etc. occur? Look for time and place,
keywords, punctuation, stanza divisions, changes in length or rhyme, and
sentence structure. What is the purpose of each shift? How do they contribute
to effect and meaning?
Title
Reanalyze the title on an interpretive level. What part does the title play in the
overall interpretation of the poem?
Theme
List the subjects and the abstract ideas in the poem. Then determine the overall
theme. The theme must be written in a complete sentence.
Title
What initial impression do you have from the
title?
“DULCE ET DECORUM EST”
Title
Latin words that mean “it is sweet and right”
(good and proper)
Paraphrase
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.
Paraphrase
Translate the poem in your own words. What is
the poem about?
Soldiers are running through trenches, tired,
sick, shoe-less, weak and suffering. They are
trying to get somewhere safe before the next
gas attack.
Paraphrase
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.
Paraphrase
Translate the poem in your own words. What is
the poem about?
Suddenly, a gas attack occurs and they all
struggle to put on their gas masks. All but one
succeeds. The victim is suffocating in the gas,
clutching at others to help him.
Paraphrase
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
Paraphrase
Translate the poem in your own words. What is
the poem about?
As the rest of the soldiers stumble along behind
the wagon, they see their comrade dying in the
wagon’s box. They hear his struggling breaths as
his lungs dissolve to liquid and he slowly and
painfully dies.
Paraphrase
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.
Paraphrase
Translate the poem in your own words. What is
the poem about?
If you were to have seen what I saw and heard
what I heard, you would not tell this story to
children anxious to hear of the glories of war.
You would have to lie when you tell them that it
is “sweet and right to die for your country”.
Connotation
What meaning does the poem have beyond the
literal meaning? Pay attention to the following:
FORM DICTION IMAGERY POINT OF VIEW
ALLUSIONS SYMBOLISM CACOPHONY
FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE DISSONANCE IRONY
OXYMORON PARADOX PUN SARCASM
UNDERSTATEMENT SIMILE METAPHOR
Connotation
Examples:
Similes: …like old beggars under sacks
…coughing like hags
…flound'ring like a man in fire or lime
…As under a green sea
…like a devil's sick of sin
Connotation
Examples:
“our distant rest” -peace or death?
“blood-shod” -wearing blood as shoes (imagery)
“ecstasy of fumbling” –mixed image
“Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning” –image of being under the
sea, watching a man drown from the safety of a mask, helpless to
look away
“white eyes writhing” –alliteration, assonance
“gargling” –onomatopeoia
“incurable sores on innocent tongues” –implies disease given to
the innocents as a result of war, (like the “old lie”)
“desperate glory” -oxymoron
Attitude
What is the speaker’s attitude? How does the
speaker feel about himself, about others, and
about the subject? What is the author’s
attitude? How does the author feel about the
speaker, about other characters, about the
subject, and the reader?
Attitude
Speaker’s attitude -colourless, defeated,
hopeless, resigned, frantic, helpless, accusing,
spiteful, troubled
Poet’s attitude –acceptance, perseverance,
fervour, horror, blaming
Shifts
Where do the shifts in tone, setting, voice,
attitude, pace, language, diction, etc.
occur? Look for time and place, keywords,
punctuation, stanza divisions, changes in length
or rhyme, and sentence structure. What is the
purpose of each shift? How do they contribute
to effect and meaning?
Shifts
Shifts in pace -“Gas! Gas!
-“marching dead” becomes frenzied
movements of placing the gas mask on
“just in time”.
Shifts in attitude -first stanza: dull, resigned,
-second stanza: frenzied, panicked
-third stanza: horrified
-fourth stanza: indignant, preaching
Title
Reanalyze the title on an interpretive level.
What part does the title play in the overall
interpretation of the poem?
Title
The title is ironic; it shows us that it is NOT
“sweet and right to die for your country”.
Rather, it says death in war is a horrible way to
serve your country.
The poet asks you to consider war’s tragic
effects, going beyond the often-quoted images
of bravery, heroism, duty and glory.
Theme
List the subjects and the abstract ideas in the
poem. Then determine the overall theme.
The theme must be written in a complete
sentence that could be used to form a thesis
statement.
Theme
Subjects:
war, death, suffering, exhaustion, glory
Theme statements:
War is not the path to glory.
Death as the result of war is seldom glorious.
Exhaustion and suffering are the terrible
consequences of war.
Dying for one’s country may not be noble.
The glorification of war is horribly wrong.
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