Wilfred Owen: Poems

Anger in Owen’s ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and ‘Mental Cases’ 10th Grade

Wilfred Owen, a war poet, uses a great number of linguistic and structural devices throughout his poems in order to express his anger at the war. In this essay I will focus on three of his works: ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and ‘Mental Cases’ to analyse and compare the effects and intentions of his writing and the ways in which these express anger.

Wilfred Owen abundantly uses irony to express anger in his poems. This is very prominent when Owen addresses the power of weaponry, as he refers to the ‘monstrous anger of guns’ in ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’. The personification of the guns creates a distinctly ironic tone, which is continued throughout his other poems. Such personification also highlights the disastrous effects of the guns and indeed, Owen’s opposition to such killing capacity – emphasising his anger towards the war by demonstrating its futile nature. In the same poem, Owen had previously referred to the soldiers as ‘cattle’. This dehumanisation, juxtaposed with the personification intensifies Owen’s use of irony and demonstrates his anger towards the war by revealing the power that weapons held over soldiers, implying that men were inferior to metal. Owen maintains this ironic tone in his poem...

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