Who was Wilfred Owen ?

Wilfred Owen was an english poet and soldier in world war one. Wilfred is said to have written some of the best poetry from world war one, composing his poems within just over a year. He was killed in action during November 1918 at the age of 25. During his lifetime only five of his poems were published but after he died a further seven were published and eventually a book dedicated to his poems called “The Collect Poems Of Wilfred Owen” was published in 1963 edited by C.Day Lewis.

Why he wrote the poem, where and when the poem was written, what the poem means to the reader and how it is interpreted ?

Wilfred Owen wrote the poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est” to emphasise the irony of his situation being that the war seemed to be carrying on “beyond the point of reason”. He wrote this poem to express the fact that war involved suffering, pain and death. He based the poem on the experience of mustard gas released by the Germans. In his poem he writes about the coughing, the panic of knowing gas is among them, seeing his colleagues falling to the ground, how helpless the soldiers are and how he had no control over the situation. Owen wants the reader at the end of the poem to think about the heroes that dont return and die no heroes rather than always glorifying the heroes that do return. Also the fact that Owen disagrees that the idea of “It is sweet and proper to die for ones country” is a lie and this is why he names his poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est” which translates to “It is sweet and proper to die for ones country”. The poem was written in October 1917 and was a letter written to his mother. In his letter he said “Here is a gas poem…. written yesterday”








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