Comparison Between “The Send Off” and “Dulce and Decorum Est”

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In this essay I’m going to compare the language, of the poem “Dulce es Decorum Est” and “The Send Off”. Even if both poems are war poems and both are written by the same author (Wilfred Owens) the two poems both have similarities and differences. “The send off” tells of a group of soldiers who are being sent off to the Front. No one knows, or really cares about them and the poet is sure that most of them will be killed or, if they do return, they will have been changed forever by their experiences.

When they return, there are so few of them that they creep back – almost ashamed – rather than come back to cheers, as they should. The soldiers try to put a brave face on what is happening. While “Dulce and Decorum Est” tell us about soldiers in WW1 returning from the Front when gas shells drop behind them. One of the soldiers doesn’t get his gas mask on in time and suffers a horrific death as the poisonous fumes burn his lungs. Wilfred Owen recounts an actual experience, which includes the fact that the soldiers were exhausted and had to throw the soldier onto a wagon to try to get him back to the rest area. The send off” and “Dulce ET Decorum Est” both rhyme, the rhyme scheme of the send off is ABAABCDCCB… “ Way, shed, gay, spray, dead…”while the rhyme scheme of “Dulce and Decorum Est” is ABAB “Sacks, sludge, backs, trudge…” Furthermore both poems use similes even if there are more similes in “Dulce es Decorum Est” to make the reader more aware of the horrific situation but at the same time these similes describe the pathetic and disorganized conditions of the soldiers in war.

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Owens uses similes to express a word as a figure of speech- “Knock-kneed, coughing like hags” is used to recount the reader the horrific conditions of the soldiers in war they were treated like animals, never having abundant time to rest. While in “The Send Off” there is only one simile: “So secretly, like wrongs hushed-up, they went. ” This simile is used to describe the men going to war, to fulfill their destine and to fight for their country until death.

No metaphors are used in neither of the poems, but enjambment are used a lot of times in both poems to let the reader create tension until he reads the next verses. The author uses an “enjambment” to delay the intention of the line until the following line and thus play on the expectation of the reader and surprise them. In “ Dulce ET Decorum Est” Owens states at the end of the poem “ The old lie;” “Dulce ET Decorum est pro patria mori” while in “The Send Off” Owen states: “May creep back, silent, to still village wells?” “Up half-known roads. Between these four verses there is suspense. In “The Send Off” there is one oxymoron that states that the women and companions of the men are “with faces grimly gay”, this may have a double meaning: this might be that the women and the people are pretending to be happy to not discourage the men, which are going to join their destine: death or this may mean that the women and passengers are very deluded, depressed and scared. Owen uses oxymoron to call attention to an apparent contradiction.

In fact the oxymoron grimly gay highlights the contradiction between how the soldiers feel and how they act: though they put on a brave face and act cheerful, they feel grim. While there is no oxymoron in the poesy “Dulce ET Decorum Est” but there is a wide range of onomatopoeia used in “Dulce and Decorum Est” to convey the meaning of a verse through its very sound. Owens says, “Come gargling, guttering…. ” as an oxymoron. Both these poems were written in the First World War and are by the author Wilfred Owen.

Both poems suggest that the men often died in battle therefore very few returned home, and the majority of the men who returned to their home were often injured, mentally or physically. Both poems mention death in lots of occasions to emphasize the fact that war is a disgusting and preposterous thing to do and in war lots of blood is spilled. Owens accentuates the fat that war should not be considered exciting but drastic hoping that one day all wars will finish and peace and prosperity will rule the world. In “Dulce and Decorum Est” to represent the brutality of war Owens states. He plunges at me guttering, choking, drowning” Even pictures of death are also painted in the poem “The send-off” “

A few, a few too few for drums and yells, may creep back silent to village wells” “A few, a few too few for drums and yells” implements that too few men have returned, this means that lots of soldiers have been killed in the war, to the contrary of the description of the death of Owens’ companion in “Dulce and Decorum Est “ (he plunges at me guttering…) this description of death is much less direct, in fact there is no direct description of the men’s death n war, to the contrary of “Dulce and Decorum Est”. ENDING- MESSAGE- title The ending of “Dulce et Decorum Est” is sad but contains a warning, to all the people: it states that to die for your country is nothing glorious, it is preposterous, there is nothing glorious and victorious to die for your country. Death is neither sweet nor right; there is no honor to die for your country without a reason. However this message is repeated in several occasions in the poesy, even at the beginning, in fact the title of the poem is “DULCE ET DECORUM EST”.

Owens lets this poem finish with a message so he’s sure that people understand that “pro patria mori” (to die for their country) is unjust and preposterous and that “Dulce ET Decorum ET Pro Patria Mori” is and old lie. While the ending of “The Send Off” states that lots of people have died in the war, and too few will return, since lots of blood has been spilt in the war, the poem ends on a with a foreshadowing of what is going to happen at the end of the war: the men “will creep back, silently, up half-known roads”, “Half-known roads” implies that the roads have become unrecognizable and inhabited, since of the war. Silently” may suggest that no sound will be heard since of the very little number of men. The message of “The Send Off” is that war has caused an uncountable number of deaths, and that too few men will return, this again is repeated but in a different style in several occasions. We may suppose that Owens decides to call the poem the “Send Off” since the title already shows the concept of the whole poem. It introduces the emotion because when people are leaving its a sad occasion, which people left do not know the final outcome- good or bad.

While we may suppose that Owens decided to name the poem “Dulce ET Decorum Est” like this since he wants to mock of the title at the right beginning, and since the whole theme of the poem is that “Dulce and Decorum Est”. Dulce and Decorum Est means it is sweet and fitting to die for ones country. In this poem the author is clear and straightforward giving us the notices of war immediately, without stuttering. This makes the poem more effective and comprehensive. The themes of both poesies are more or less the same. “Dulce and Decorum Est” recounts us the waste and hypocrisy of war.

The poet tells the public that there is nothing heroic or glorious about the war, only misery. Young men are Being misled into thinking that it would be exciting to go and the theme of “The Send Off” is the reality and horror of war. There is a feeling of sadness and anger. In this poesy the soldiers who return remember the horrors they have seen. The feeling of “The Send Off “ is: anger at the waste of war and at the idea that people do not care about the soldiers. The somber and serious tone in the poem creates a feeling of despair and sadness.

While the feeling of “Dulce and Decorum Est” is real anger that the soldiers have to suffer this. The reality of war is not brave or romantic, but dirty and exhausting. In this poem the poet is very angry with the general public who are taken inland allow the soldiers to give their lives in this stupid struggle. IN Dulce and Decorum Est there is lots of imagery, which emphasizes the horror of war. There are vivid similes “like bent double” and “green sea, drowning” and the soldiers are described like animals “blood shot”, the man is drowning in “lime” and has “cud” in his mouth.

Furthermore lots of vivid verbs which emphasize the horror of the situation “guttering” … Balanced verses with verse 2 containing a pause which emphasizes the way the poet reacts to the events are used with. In Dulce and Decorum EST Owen tells the story in the first half of the poem, then gives his own reaction. In the 3rd verse he talks directly to the reader and to the people who have sent the soldier to this horrific death “You/ my friend” Furthermore Owen regards the soldiers as victims, calls them “children” and “innocent” because they have been taken in by lies.

This makes the poem more effective and more specific. The readers know that Owen is addressing to them. While from the start of “The Send Off” a feeling that something is being hidden “darkening” The vocabulary Owen gives a feeling of secrecy, e. g. , “siding/ hushed up/ nodded/ winked/ secrecy” as if society has a conspiracy to send the soldiers to do their work for them and the fact that no one cares is shown by words like “casual” and “dull” Tension builds to the last strophe when the men either do not return or are completely changed by their experiences There are vivid images of flowers to send them on their way, emind us of funeral wreaths and Owen uses personification: the lamps and signals seem to be in on the conspiracy to allow the soldiers to go to their deaths. (“And a lamp? Winked to the guard. ”) Owen uses personification raise the curiosity of the reader so he finishes the poem, fully understanding the situation around him/her. I conclude that both poems of Wilfred Owen have similarities and differences.

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Comparison Between “The Send Off” and “Dulce and Decorum Est”. (2017, Jan 19). Retrieved from

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