Dulce et Decorum Est

This is probably Owen’s most famous poem and the one we will begin with. You will be given this poem and will be given the chance to make your own independent analytical comments without help for me. This will be pre-assessment so I can see where you are currently at with your ability to analyse poetry.

Here is the full poem and here you can hear it read.


After you attempt to analyse the poem yourself, you will see an example of an analysis of a poem from the lecturer below.

Important features:

  • Imagery
  • Diction
  • Metaphor
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Allusion


  • dulce et decorum est pro patria mori: is latin and means “it is good and honourable to die for your country.”
  • Sludge: thick yet watery mud.
  • Hags: ugly old women
  • lame: not being able to work properly (a term used to refer to horses when they are injured and cannot walk)
  • flound’ring (floundering): struggling, or lashing about on the ground, like a fish does when they are out of water.
  • Knock-kneed: walking with your knees knocking each other