Submitted By Paula-Kavhuru
Words: 559
Pages: 3

Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ and Wilfred Owen’s poems ‘The Send-Off’ and ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ are manipulated to depict despair, using a number of techniques as a method of emphasising the anguish of the protagonist in either the play or the poem. While Owen employs the use of sarcasm to show the trepidation that the soldiers endure, Shakespeare enforces dramatic irony as a tool to convey the dark emotions experienced by Macbeth.
Different aspects of war are explored in both ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’, such as the emotional turmoil that Macbeth battles and the physical war fought by the soldiers. Initially, Macbeth is illustrated as ‘brave’, however as the idea of killing King Duncan preys on his mind, the audience is exposed to the conflict rising inside of him. Similar to the damage war physically imprints on the soldiers in ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’, both the idea and actual killing of King Duncan psychologically damages Macbeth, leading him into a spiral of internal anguish and havoc. Through the use of the dagger, Shakespeare introduces the arising mental conflict as Macbeth is continuously tormented by the 'mere thought' of killing his ‘friend’, thus resulting in the beginning of the mental conflict. After his first murder, Macbeth is afflicted with guilt and remorse as he claims ‘Macbeth will sleep no more’, furthering on to quote, ‘All great Neptune oceans wash this blood clean from my hand.’ However, as Macbeth kills more, the weight load of guilt over him begins to lessen and become lighter. Nonetheless, Shakespeare reveals Macbeth succumbing to the fight as he yearns to kill more, as they are ‘young in deed’. Likewise, the idea of war is embodied in Owen’s ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ as the soldiers are faced with the physical aspects of war. Evidently, Owen depicts a vivid image in the reader’s mind of how the solders are ‘bent-double’ and ‘knock-kneed’, illustrating the fatigue of war. Also employing strong language features such as ‘GAS!’ Owen reinforces the sense of the fright. Continuously, the strong use of imagery in the third stanza portrays the result as the soldiers watch the ‘white eyes writhing’, leaving the physical imprint, Owen ending the poem with ‘If…