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Dulce et Decorum Est

Dulce et Decorum Est


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

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 for poetry of all time. "Dulce...


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...


Seeing 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 too terrible to be real, and too...

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

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 subject. For Owen, however, death i...


Owen'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 destruction, but the...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

When 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 tho...

Shout Outs

Horace, Odes (title, 27-28) World War I (8,9) (title, 27-28)

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