Dulce et Decorum Est
Dulce et Decorum Est
by Wilfred Owen

Dulce et Decorum Est Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

Pentameter (most of the time)We're pretty sure that you've heard of pentameter before. Remember Shakespeare? He set a pretty decent trend. Iambic pentameter became one of the most popular meters fo...

Speaker

Remember Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump? He's from a later war, but we're betting that his tone is pretty much the voice in your head when you read "Dulce et Decorum Est." Before he gets on the shr...

Setting

The Battlefields of World War ISeeing through the "misty panes and thick green light" of a world suddenly turned upside-down by the dropping of gas shells, we're dragged through horrors that seem t...

Sound Check

This poem's not playing too many games with us. It's so deeply entrenched in the world of war that its language can't help but re-create the language and the pace of the battlefield. Starting the s...

What's Up With the Title?

Owen starts out with some serious irony here. The title of his poem, "Dulce et Decorum Est," is actually a reference to one of Horace's Odes. (By the way, Horace was a Roman philosopher and poet.)...

Calling Card

Death. Lots and Lots of Death. OK, so Wilfred Owen doesn't have a lock on death. After all, pretty much every major novelist and/or poet who's ever written anything has something to say on the subj...

Tough-O-Meter

(3) Base CampOwen's trying to make us feel like we're actually with him on the battlefield as the gas shells are dropping. There's a bit of confusion in all the smoke and haze and chaos and destruc...

Brain Snacks

Believe it or not, poems don't spring fully formed from an author's brain. Check out the writing and revision process that Owen went through with "Dulce et Decorum Est" here: you can scroll through...

Sex Rating

GWhen death and misery are all around, sex might just be the last thing on your mind. Or maybe the first. Who are we to judge? In this poem, however, the immediacy of battle drowns out all other th...

Shout Outs

Literary and Philosophical ReferencesHorace, Odes (title, 27-28) Historical References World War I (8,9) (title, 27-28)

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