2 Wilfred Owen Wilfred Owen was born om March 18, 1893. He was on the Continent, teaching, when he decided to visit a hospital for the wounded and then decided, in September 1915, to return to England and enlist in the war (that’s WW1).
3 Wilfred OwenHe said “I came out [to the war] in order to help these boys—directly by leading them as well as an officer can; indirectly, by watching their sufferings that I may speak of them as well as a pleader can. (October, 1918)
4 Wilfred OwenOwen was injured March 1917 and sent home; he was fit for duty in August 1918, and returned to the front.On November 4th, just seven days before the Armistice, he was caught in a German machine gun attack and killed.He was 25 years old when he died.
5 Wilfred OwenThe bells were ringing on November 11, 1918, in Shrewsbury, England, to celibrate the Armistice, when the doorbell rang at his parent’s home, bringing them the telegram to tell them their son was dead.
6 “Dulce Et Decorum Est”Lets look at the poem together, and analyse it using the TPCASTT method. When we are done, we should be able to determine the THEME and come up with a THEME STATEMENT.
8 TitleWhat initial impression do you have from the title? “DULCE ET DECORUM EST”
9 TitleLatin words that mean “it is sweet and right” (good and proper)
10 ParaphraseBent 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 tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
11 ParaphraseTranslate the poem in your own words. What is the poem about? Soldiers are running through trenches, tired, sick, shoe-less, weak and suffering. They are trying to get somewhere safe before the next gas attack.
12 ParaphraseGas! 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.
13 ParaphraseTranslate the poem in your own words. What is the poem about? Suddenly, a gas attack occurs and they all struggle to put on their gas masks. All but one succeeds. The victim is suffocating in the gas, clutching at others to help him.
14 ParaphraseIn all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
15 ParaphraseTranslate the poem in your own words. What is the poem about? As the rest of the soldiers stumble along behind the wagon, they see their comrade dying in the wagon’s box. They hear his struggling breaths as his lungs dissolve to liquid and he slowly and painfully dies.
16 ParaphraseIf 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.
17 ParaphraseTranslate the poem in your own words. What is the poem about? If you were to have seen what I saw and heard what I heard, you would not tell this story to children anxious to hear of the glories of war. You would have to lie when you tell them that it is “sweet and right to die for your country”.
18 ConnotationWhat meaning does the poem have beyond the literal meaning? Pay attention to the following: FORM DICTION IMAGERY POINT OF VIEW ALLUSIONS SYMBOLISM CACOPHONY FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE DISSONANCE IRONY OXYMORON PARADOX PUN SARCASM UNDERSTATEMENT SIMILE METAPHOR
19 ConnotationExamples: Similes: …like old beggars under sacks …coughing like hags …flound'ring like a man in fire or lime …As under a green sea …like a devil's sick of sin
20 Connotation Examples: “our distant rest” -peace or death? “blood-shod” -wearing blood as shoes (imagery)“ecstasy of fumbling” –mixed image“Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,As under a green sea, I saw him drowning” –image of being under the sea, watching a man drown from the safety of a mask, helpless to look away“white eyes writhing” –alliteration, assonance“gargling” –onomatopeoia“incurable sores on innocent tongues” –implies disease given tothe innocents as a result of war, (like the “old lie”)“desperate glory” -oxymoron
21 AttitudeWhat is the speaker’s attitude? How does the speaker feel about himself, about others, and about the subject? What is the author’s attitude? How does the author feel about the speaker, about other characters, about the subject, and the reader?
23 ShiftsWhere do the shifts in tone, setting, voice, attitude, pace, language, diction, etc. occur? Look for time and place, keywords, punctuation, stanza divisions, changes in length or rhyme, and sentence structure. What is the purpose of each shift? How do they contribute to effect and meaning?
24 ShiftsShifts in pace -“Gas! Gas! -“marching dead” becomes frenzied movements of placing the gas mask on “just in time”. Shifts in attitude -first stanza: dull, resigned, -second stanza: frenzied, panicked -third stanza: horrified -fourth stanza: indignant, preaching
25 TitleReanalyze the title on an interpretive level. What part does the title play in the overall interpretation of the poem?
26 TitleThe title is ironic; it shows us that it is NOT “sweet and right to die for your country”. Rather, it says death in war is a horrible way to serve your country. The poet asks you to consider war’s tragic effects, going beyond the often-quoted images of bravery, heroism, duty and glory.
27 ThemeList the subjects and the abstract ideas in the poem. Then determine the overall theme. The theme must be written in a complete sentence that could be used to form a thesis statement.
28 ThemeSubjects: war, death, suffering, exhaustion, glory Theme statements: War is not the path to glory. Death as the result of war is seldom glorious. Exhaustion and suffering are the terrible consequences of war. Dying for one’s country may not be noble. The glorification of war is horribly wrong.