Dulche Et Decourm Est

Report
Dulche Et
Decourm Est
By Wilfred Owen
8 March 1893 – 4 November 1918
Dulche Et Decourm Est
By Wilfred Owen
Learning Objectives
As we study this poem you will learn:
• The story of the poem
• More about the terms, Imagery,
alliteration & personification
• Invented words
• About the life of a soldier in WW1
• The life of Wilfred Owen
• The meaning of the title
Dulche Et Decourm Est
By Wilfred Owen
Starter
Write down whatever you know
about World War 1 for example:
• When it happened?
• Where it happened?
• Who was involved?
• What form did the war take?
• How many men were killed?
Dulche Et Decourm Est
By Wilfred Owen
Starter
Write down whatever you know about
World War 1.
War in Europe 194-1918 with Britain,
France, USA (eventually) and allies
fighting Germany. Most of the fighting in
Belgium & France with the soldiers
fighting from trenches often only a few
meters apart. Huge death toll: 65 million
men were mobilised to fight, 8.5mill
were killed and 21 million were
wounded. At the time it was known as
‘The Great War.’
Dulche Et Decourm Est
By Wilfred Owen
Mini Task 1
Write down what you think the title
means.
Dulche Et Decourm Est
By Wilfred Owen
Mini Task 1
Write down what you think the title
means.
‘Dulce et decorum est pro patria
mori', means 'it is sweet and fitting
to die for one's country'. It is taken
from an ode (poem) by the Roman
poet Horace's which talks about the
glories of dying for your country:
He plunges through a tide of blood!
What joy, for fatherland to die!
Dulche Et Decourm Est
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning .
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Story Of The Poem
Mini Task 2
Write down what you think the ‘story
of the poem’ is.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Story Of The Poem 1
Mini Task 2 –
Write down what you think the ‘story of
the poem’ is.
A group of soldiers during WW1 are on
their way back from the trenches and
fighting on the front line when a missdirected gas shell lands behind them. The
men frantically try to get their crude gas
masks on but one man does not fit his
quickly enough and inhales some of the
poison gas. The gas starts to react with the
fluid in his lungs and he starts to choke to
death. The other soldiers know they can do
nothing to save their comrade and even
though he is in agony they place him on to
a field casualty cart.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Story Of The Poem 2
Mini Task 2
Write down what you think the ‘story of the
poem’ is.
The start of the poem seems to be written in
the present and the graphic description of the
men and this gas attack seems immediate and
real. However the poem is set in the past and
the poet is recalling events that continue to
haunt his dreams.
At the end of the poem the poet asks if we
now agree with the ancient philosopher
Horace who wrote “It is sweet and honourable
to die for one’s country.”
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Structure Of The Poem
Mini Task 3
Write down how you think the poem is
structured or composed. Mention stanzas,
rhyme and line length.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Structure Of The Poem
Mini Task 3
Write down how you think the poem is
structured or composed.
The poem is composed of 3 Stanzas and uses
alternate rhyming couplets with the exception
of the last three lines.
The first two stanzas have 8 lines. The final
stanza has 11 lines.
Mini Task 4
Why are the last three lines different?
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Structure Of The Poem
Mini Task 4
Why are the last three lines different?
The change in structure and rhyme scheme
draws attention to and puts an emphasis on
the last two lines which carry the ironic
message of the poem.
Mini Task 5
1. What is the Key Feature of this poem?
2. From each stanza give one powerful or
disturbing example of the key feature you
identified.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Structure Of The Poem
Mini Task 5
1. What is the Key Feature of this poem?
Imagery
2. From each stanza give one powerful or
disturbing example of the key feature you
identified.
Almost the entire poem is imagery, so
any line/image will do as long as you have
selected one from each stanza. What I am
interested in though is what you found
powerful or disturbing.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 1
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Mini Task 6
Describe the scene created by the
imagery used in the opening line.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 1
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Mini Task 6
The soldiers are ‘bent double’
from the weight of the kit and
equipment they are carrying
back from the front line
trenches.
Instead of the smart ‘Tommy's’
who had left England a few short
months ago, the mud from living
and fighting in the trenches had
reduced them to looking like
beggars.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 2
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through
sludge,
Mini Task 7
What does the term ‘Hags’
mean and why is it effective
here?
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 2
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed
through sludge,
Mini Task 7
Note: The alliteration on ‘knock-kneed
Hag: An old woman considered
ugly or frightful.
What does the term ‘Hags’ mean
and why is it effective here?
Trench warfare had also taken a
physical toll as these fit young men
had now been reduced to
something like crippled old women
- ‘hags’ as they dragged
themselves, cursing, through the
muddy battlefields of France to
some well earned rest.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 3
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed
through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Mini Task 8
Why has the poet used the
words ‘haunting’ & ‘trudge’ ?
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 3
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed
through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Mini Task 8
Why has the poet used the
words ‘haunting’ & ‘trudge’ ?
The ‘flares’ are burning
projectiles fired into the night
sky to illuminate the battlefield
or the no-man’s-land between
the opposing trenches. They
cast an unsteady, glaring light
over the land which Owen
describes as ‘haunting’. This
helps establish it is night time
and create atmosphere.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 3
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed
through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Mini Task 8
Why has the poet used the
words ‘haunting’ & ‘trudge’ ?
The men are exhausted and
instead of marching as soldiers
would be expected to do they
‘trudge’ back from the front
towards their rest station. Even
the thought of getting away
from the fighting for a few days
is not enough to make them
move with any sort of energy.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 4
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed
through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their
boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all
blind;
Mini Task 9
What is the key feature and
point the poet is trying to
make in these lines?
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 4
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed
through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their
boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all
blind;
Mini Task 9
What is the key feature and
point the poet is trying to
make in these lines?
Feet!
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 4
Mini Task 9
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed What is the key feature and point
through sludge,
the poet is trying to make in these
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs lines?
And towards our distant rest began to trudge. The British Army boot was ill-suited
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their
to trench warfare as it was not at all
boots
waterproof. If the laces rotted the
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all
boot could easily get sucked off in
blind;
the muddy trenches. Because the
boots could not keep the soldiers
feet dry, soldiers suffered from a
condition known as ‘Trench Foot’.
This is caused by prolonged
exposure of the feet to damp,
unsanitary and cold conditions and
the feet literally begin to rot away.
No wonder Owen describes the
men as ‘blood shod’ and ‘lame’.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 4
Mini Task 9
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
What is the key feature and point
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed
the poet is trying to make in these
through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs lines?
And towards our distant rest began to trudge. In this part of the first stanza Owen
really emphasises how tired the
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their
boots
men were by saying they ‘marched
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all asleep’ and were ‘drunk with
blind;
fatigue’ to the point of being
blinded.
Note: The alliteration on ‘Men
marched’.
‘Blood-shod’ is also a word Owen
invented for this poem. It is a
combination of
• slip shod - Slovenly in appearance,
shabby or seedy;
• Bloodshot - Red and inflamed
• Shod - to wear shoes.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 5
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed
through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their
boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all
blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.
Mini Task 10
Why were the shells
‘disappointed’?
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 5
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Mini Task 10
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed Why were the shells ‘disappointed’?
through sludge,
They weren’t, they couldn’t be,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs they are lumps of metal full of gas!
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
It is the gunners who are
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their
‘disappointed’ as they had missed
boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all their intended target in the
trenches and the shells had
blind;
‘dropped behind’ the front line to
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind. fall among this group of retreating
Note: The personification on ‘disappointed’.
soldiers. So this is an example of
personification
So tired were the men that they
did not hear the gas shell that fell
behind them. Unlike normal shells
they did not explode on impact, but
hissed (hooted) as the gas was
released.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 6
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling, Mini Task 11
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
What happens to pace and
tone in the opening words of
Stanza 2?
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 6
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
Note:
• The personification on clumsy ~ it’s the
men that are clumsy in their panic, not the
gas masks
• and alliteration/ enjambment on ‘fumbling,
fitting’.
Mini Task 11
What happens to pace and
tone in the opening words of
Stanza 2?
After the slow and even ‘weary’ pace
of the opening stanza there is a sudden
dramatic change here to a rapid pace
with the repetition of ‘Gas’ and the
urgency required to fit the gas masks
‘just in time’.
The word ‘ecstasy’ is used ironically
here. Being in an ecstatic state is
something we normally associate with
pleasure, not with a terrifying life or
death situation. The joy comes once
the mask is safely fitted.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 7
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Mini Task 12
Describe the events of these
two lines in your own words.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 7
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Mini Task 12
Describe the events of these
two lines in your own words.
One man did not get his mask on in
time and he is left ‘floundering’ ie.
thrashing around in agony as if he were
on fire or drowning in a poisoned pool.
FYI: Lime was a chemical that used to
be spread on graves as it aids
decomposition. It is an extremely
alkaline substance.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 8
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
Mini Task 12
1. What are the ‘misty
panes’?
2. What is the principal
imagery in these two
lines?
3. Why is this use of
imagery appropriate?
4. What happens to
pace/tone here?
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 8
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
1.
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, 2.
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
3.
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
Mini Task 12
What are the ‘misty panes’?
What is the principal imagery
in these two lines?
Why is this use of imagery
appropriate?
4. What happens to pace/tone
here?
1. The ‘misty panes are the glass circles in the
mask which have become opaque with
condensation.
2. Green, which is from the colour of the glass or
the gas or both, but it creates an eerie feel to this
section.
3. The green light leads to the green sea
metaphor and then on to the graphic image of
the soldier choking on the gas, as if he was
drowning.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 8
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
Mini Task 12
4. What happens to
pace/tone here?
The change in pace/tone here is from the
frantic energy of the previous few lines to a
slower pace and more sombre and reflective
tone.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 9
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
Mini Task 13
1. What happens to the
time frame of the poem
here?
2. Why does the poet do
this?
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 9
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
Mini Task 13
1. What happens to the
time frame of the poem
here?
2. Why does the poet do
this?
1. The time now moves to the ‘present’ so
the events described in the poem are all
set in the poet’s recent past.
2. Wilfred Owen then allows you to see the
reality of his own war experience
through his eyes. The vivid description of
the soldier plunging at him (sea
metaphor again) conveys the helpless
horror he felt here.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 9
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
Note: another ‘new’ word ~
‘guttering.’ The word means a
trough for taking water away
from a roof or a flame on the
point of going out. In the poem
Owen seems to want it to also
indicate the spluttering or
gurgling sound the dying man is
probably making.
FYI: The horrors that Owen witnessed did
cause him to have recurring nightmares
which he needed help for when he was
in hospital in England. It was while he
was in hospital that he started writing
his first war poems as a form of
‘therapy.’
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 10
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
Mini Task 14
1. What is the key word in
this couplet?
2. Why is it important or
effective?
3. What do these lines tell
us about the poet?
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 10
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
Mini Task 14
1. What is the key word in
this couplet?
2. Why is it important or
effective?
3. What do these lines tell
us about the poet?
1. Flung.
2. The wounded soldier, who is not dead,
but soon will be, is ‘flung’ into the back
of a medical wagon with little dignity,
care or concern because the soldiers
know there is nothing they can do for
him.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 10
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
Mini Task 14
Mini Task 14
1. What is the key word in
this couplet?
2. Why is it important or
effective?
3. What do these lines tell
us about the poet?
3. The use of the word ‘dreams’ again
references the nightmares that Owen
suffered from as a result of his war
experiences. and as before he provides
some very graphic imagery to illustrate
the cause of his distress.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 11
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Mini Task 15
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
List the effect Owen suggests the
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
gas has had on the soldier.
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 11
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Mini Task 15
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
List the effect Owen suggests
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
the gas has had on the soldiers .
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
• terrified eyes - he knows he is
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
going to die.
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
• face ‘writhing’ in agony.
• a face ‘hanging’ as he loses
muscular control.
• blood foaming from his lungs as
they are eaten away by the
hydrochloric acid the gas has
turned into upon contact with
moisture.
• and then finally the blistering of
the soldiers skin from acid burns.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 12
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Mini Task 16
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
What does Owen try to do in
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
the last three lines of the poem?
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori.
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 12
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
Mini Task 16
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori. What does Owen try to do in
the last three lines of the poem?
Owen now directly address you, his reader,
expecting a sympathetic response to his
point of view as he calls you his ‘friend’; and
he asks you to question any patriotic
prejudices you might have by asking if you
agree with Horace, the ancient Greek
philosopher, that “It is sweet and honourable
to die for your country.”
He attacks the patriotism that drew so many
young men to their deaths in the trenches by
inferring that it is only ‘children’ who would
respond with such naïve enthusiasm to this
desperate call to fight for ‘glory.’
Dulche Et Decourm Est - The Meaning Of The Poem 12
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
Mini Task 16
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori. What does Owen try to do in
the last three lines of the poem?
He calls the patriotic attitude summed up in
Horace’s quote a lie. In the poem he presents
his version of the truth about the horrors war
and shows there is nothing sweet honourable
or noble in a death such as this soldier
suffered.
The brief life of Wilfred Owen.
WW1Total Killed - 8,281,250
WW1Total Killed - 8,281,250
Assignment:
How effectively does
Wilfred Owen use imagery
and other poetic devices to
make Dulche Et Decorum Est
a haunting and effective
portrayal of war?
600-800 words by 25 Sept.

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