As Owen describes it, war becomes a never-ending nightmare of muddy trenches and unexpected gas attacks. Interestingly, with the new-fangled technology of WWI, there doesn't even need to be a real enemy present to create the devastation and destruction. Set in the middle of a gas attack, this poem explores the intense agony of a world gone suddenly insane – and the unfortunate men who have to struggle through it. As the poem itself asks, how can anyone condone so much suffering?
"Dulce et Decorum Est" becomes a chronicle of the living dead: the soldiers whose minds remain trapped in the horrors of battle.