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Dulce et Decorum Est

             The purpose of the poem, "Dulce et Decorum Est", is to try to explain to the public that war is not at all glorious. Owen finishes this poem by saying to not tell children who want glory that to die for your country is not as sweet as it may seem. The death of the soldier in this poem is neither sweet nor becoming. He brings out this purpose by using imagery throughout his poem.
             In the first stanza, Owen uses a combination of visual and kinesthetic imagery such as "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, knock-kneed, coughing like hags'". In just the first two lines of the poem, the soldiers are portrayed as tired and sick. In the rest of the stanza, he shows how the conditions that theses soldiers had to go through were horrendous. For example "Many had lost their boots, But limped on, blood-shod" shows how these soldiers had been fighting in all conditions.
             The second stanza consists of visual imagery that creates the effect of poisonous gas. A gas can ha just dropped around the troop and the soldiers are in a rush to put their masks on. "An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time". Unfortunately, the poem's purpose is slowly revealed. A soldier could not put his mask on in time and thus ends up dying. The poet describes his death by providing gruesome imagery. "Floundering like a man in fire or lime." The next stanza just provides the auditory imagery of "guttering, choking, drowning." These two stanzas both show the effect of gas on the soldier.
             The last stanza uses visual imagery to describe the soldier who died from gas. "White eyes writhing in his faceof vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues." These lines produce the grotesque image of the dead soldier. He ends with the line "Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori." rightfully. If death for your country is supposed to be sweet, then this death should have been sweet. The purpose was to show that death isn't sweet and with the poet's usage of auditory, kinesthetic, and visual imagery, it is shown that the soldier's death is anything but sweet.

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