The theme of the poem 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' is to persuade the reader of the horrors of war. Wilfred Owen conveys the horrors of war by making us understand the brutality of war and dramatically shares his experience. The poem powerfully engagies and draws the reader in by imagery and metaphor.
In the first verse the poet is trying to provoke feelings in us by explaining "Knock-kneed, coughing like hags". this shows how all of the troop aren't happy and confident like the propaganda conveys. They are infact weak and lifeless. Owen creates a vivid image by expressing the horrors of war. He shows the state of the men, "Knock-kneed" suggests the men are not strong up-right soldiers, they are almost powerful. Another example of powerful language is the simile, "coughing like hags". A hag is an old decrepit woman, the poet is explaining how physically and mentally worn out the soldiers are, and how they no longer look like soldiers.
The horrors of war are described effectively in the second stanza through an event. He describes a gas attack happening right infront of his eyes, the words, "Gas! GAS! Quick, boys" shows the tiredness and the panic of the men. The horror of the gas attack shows how difficult tasks are when powerless. The poet attempts to persuade the reaser of the horrors of war when he says "An ecstacy of fumbling, fitting the clumsy helmets just in time" this powerfully shows the reality of gas attacks and conveys the adrenalin that rushes through the soldiers when their lives are put in danger.
In the couplet "In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning" the poet powerfully aims to sadden you and makes you understand how the war has a tremendous impact on Owen and the other soldiers. The emotional side of war and how it destroys the mind is portrayed. There is no damage control what so ever, the drea,s take over and terrorise him. The words 'guttering, choking,…