Dulce et Decorum Est- Language Techniques
Identify three examples of the language techniques mentioned above from the poem.
Oxymoron- “An ecstasy of fumbling” The use of the word ecstasy gives the idea that the men are having an adrenaline rush as they are told gas is coming. Usually, ecstasy has the perception that the adrenaline is good and wanted but in this case, they are becoming lost “fumbling” becoming mentally disabled and physically combusting.
Symbolism- “smothering dreams” This alludes the idea that these men had a dream that the war would be a noble and glorious thing to do. As a child or a young man they were enforced to think this way; to become a man you must fight like a man, carry yourself in the war. There “dreams” as such have been shattered by a continuous torment of the dark and horrific image. They have lost innocence and now have obscure dark thoughts which have captured their worst nightmares.
Allusion- “drunk with fatigue” is an allusion used in Wilfred Owens poem to describe the feeling the men would have felt near the end of the war. “Drunk” is the word usually describing a person is intoxicated or heavily under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, and “fatigue” is tiredness/sleepiness and lack of energy a person would usually encounter if they were sick or were not eating well. This allusion immediately makes you think of zombie-like men, low energy and sleepy yet would still have a quick reaction to any oncoming danger. No one can be drunk with fatigue but they certainly look like they have been drinking it for so long that now can hardly be themselves.