In the early 20th Century social change was occurring, Queen Victoria had just died, philosophers and scientists such as Nietzsche and Darwin had just published books with secular and anti-establishment ideas causing a massive ripple affect amongst society comparable with that of the renaissance.

For many, war was a welcome inspiration. England had become confused, complacent and static, war brought unity, patriotism and heroes. Rupert Brooke wrote in the poem 'Peace' that the war 'wakened ...

(them)... rom sleeping'.

However, it eventually became clear that the war, despite its benefits, was futile and the lives of millions of men were sacrificed because the government were frightened of the shifts in power occurring in Europe. Public opinion changed from believing that there was glory and bravery in war to there was nothing but waste and pity in war. Owen's poetry summarises this change in attitude because he is trying to explain to those who do not yet understand, the pointlessness of war.Dulce et Decorum Est', is the title to a double sonnet written by Wilfred Owen, and is the beginning of the phrase 'Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori', meaning 'it is sweet and proper to die for your country'. The title indicates that 'Dulce et Decorum Est' is a pro-war poem, but it is ironic. The poem in fact portrays the horrific conditions the soldiers were living, fighting and dying in.

At the beginning of the poem, Owen uses monosyllabic words such as 'bent', 'knock-kneed' and 'hags' which are hard and have impact.The first verse expresses the weariness and misery of the men who were 'drunk with fatigue' and 'marched asleep'. Owen uses many adjectives to convey the soldiers' desperate situation, he describes how 'Many had lost their boots, But limped on, blood-shod. ' and how they were so tired that they barely noticed the sound of gas-shells dropping amongst them.

The second stanza of the first sonnet in 'Dulce et Decorum Est' suddenly changes tone. Owen uses direct speech, as in a story, when somebody yells 'Gas! GAS!... ' and the pace of the poem quickens as the men fumble to fit their gas masks.The gas is described as a 'green sea' because it is every where and the soldier who does not fit his mask on in time seems to be drowning as he writhes around unable to breath.

The first two lines of second sonnet are in the present tense and first person as Owen describes how he is repeatedly subjected to watching his soldier drown in the gas in his dreams. These two lines indicate how traumatised and isolated Owen and how guilty he feels about, not just this one soldier, but all the soldiers continuously sent out and the war itself.Owen's guilt is portrayed by the way the soldier 'plunges at..

(him).. , guttering, choking, drowning. ' This list of words and the repetition of 'drowning' emphasise Owen's misery and frustration.

The next stanza is written to the audience: 'If ... you too could pace behind the wagon we flung him in,' because Owen is desperately trying to convey to the reader how awful and dehumanising the war really was, the soldier's body was just 'flung' as if it did not mean anything at all.Even though he had died for his country his body is not treated with dignity in death.

. Assonance and alliteration are used to emphasise the visions Owen is forced to endure when awake at war and when asleep in his dreams, for example 'And watch his white eyes writhing in his face' really creates an image for the reader. 'Dulce et Decorum Est' finishes with the lines: '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. 'Owen addresses the reader as 'my friend' again in irony, because he is really addressing the politicians, the women handing out white feathers and the parents who felt shame would be upon them if you did not fight. Owen is addressing those people because he wants them in particular to know how dreadful and horrific the life of a soldier was and that if they did understand they would never imagine to try and romanticise war or encourage signing up; In a letter to his mother, Owen wrote 'My subject is War and the pity of War', this statement as does 'Dulce et Decorum Est' epitomises the changing opinions and values during the First World War. He also wrote 'All a poet can do is warn.

That is why poets must be truthful. '. 'Anthem For Doomed Youth' is another example of Owen's anarchic Poetry.Also a sonnet, the first stanza of 'Anthem For Doomed Youth' contains harsh and conventionally unpoetic words such as 'cattle', 'guns' and 'stuttering rifles' rapid rattle' to express a point and an opinion rather than just write beautiful poetry, but the second stanza is softer and more emotional.

Owen uses alliteration such as 'rifles' rapid rattle' to help conjure up a clear image to the reader of the soldier's surroundings, the lack of peace, the constant noise and the futility of it all.In 'Dulce et Decorum Est' the 'drowned' soldier is described as being 'flung' into the cart as if he nothing but cattle, and although he has fought and died for his country, he is still treated like an animal after his death, and not with the respect and dignity he would have expected and deserved, 'Anthem For Doomed Youth' is a similar poem of disgust over these soldiers' treatment. The first line of 'Anthem For Doomed Youth' asks What bells will toll for these brave soldiers when they are dead? The men are referred to as 'cattle' because they are treated by their leaders as animals just sent out to die.Owen is clearly frustrated at the lack of recognition and respect these men receive, the only bells that toll for them are 'the monstrous anger of the guns..


the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle'. The poem goes through comparing the way the soldiers go to death at war with the ritual of the funeral service they would normally receive, instead of bells is the sound of guns, instead of choirs are the wails of shells, the candles that flicker are the lights in the boys eyes, their pall is the 'pallor of girls' brows', their flowers the suffering minds of families back home and the drawing down of blinds is dusk.In this poem, Owen is speaking to a different audience, he is talking to the doomed youth, to the young men wanting to go to war. Both of these poems summarise the opinions of Owen, in comparison to Rupert Brooke, John Freeman or W. N.

Hodgson, he is controversial and anarchic in admitting these views. In Rupert Brooke's poem 'The Soldier', which is again a sonnet, says nothing of the misery or futility of the First World War but it glorifies dying for the sake of your country.The first line of 'The Soldier' Brooke's wrote: If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is forever England. ' Brooke wants the reader not to feel sympathy or be upset over his death, but to believe his death was valuable and necessary.

'England bore, shaped, made aware' Brooke describes England as the mother and all these young men are not fighting in vain because they are fighting to protect their mother. Brooke's audience are the families of the deceased, he is writing for those who do not wish to believe their son or husband or nephew's death was futile.Brooke did not survive long enough to fight in the war himself and although many soldiers identify with his poetry as much as others do with Owen's, because they genuinely enjoyed the war and would have gladly died for their country, Owen was writing later, when people did not accept totally that the war was worthy and necessary. Owen's work epitomises what views people came to posses but Brooke's and Freemen's and Hodgson's and indeed many others poets' are pre war opinions, Brooke's poetry is unaffected by any experience of war because he never made it there, Owen speaks from experience which is why he is respected.Owen wrote the truth, as we realise it was in hindsight and people were beginning to realise towards this end of the war, which is why his 'work embodies.

... the changing values of the time.

' Because he is unaffected by any sense of patriotism he feels he can write critically of the war, people of the era were realising that although they believe their country is worth fighting for, this war was not.