Question: Wilfred Owen’s poetry is shaped by an intense focus on extraordinary human experiences. How does Dulce Et Decorum and Anthem for Doomed Youth explore Owen’s portrayal of suffering and pity?

Wilfred Owen’s poetry focuses on and portrays the pity and suffering of the war as well as the extraordinary human experiences. Owen illustrates the crucial facts and the tragic reality behind war whilst exposing the truth of war: the shame, the humiliation, the pity and the suffering experienced by the soldiers who fought and the families who suffered their loss.

In Wilfred Owen’s, ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’, Owen’s disapproval of war is shown and explored particularly in the opening lines. Owen’s aim to explore not only the reality of war, but to condemn those that support the age old lie, that it is ‘noble and honourable to die for one’s country’ “Dulce et Decorum Est pro patria mori” are reflected. The title of this poem, which is ironically used, also indicates Owen’s belief that war is barbaric and pointless. Along with the ironic title, Owen’s use of literary devices and techniques allows Owen to portray the suffering and pity caused by the war.

Throughout, ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’, Owen attacks the propagandist lie which is shown in the ironic title, and he refuses and shatters the illusion that war is glorious as the young soldiers weren’t aware of the suffering and horrendous human experiences they would end up enduring. Through graphic imagery in the first stanza Owen expresses extraordinary human experiences of war, as the soldiers are describes as “bent-double like old hags under sacks, knock-kneed, coughing like hags”. This opening line to the first stanza compares the soldiers to “old beggars” and “hags” as if saying these young men has lost their youthfulness due to fighting the war. Multiple similes have been used in this example, which enforces the exhaustion, and suffering of the soldiers, again showing that war is not glorious.

Owen’s portrayal of...