Let's face it, there are many people out there who write about war. In addition to the news, there are blogs, journals, memoirs, radio shows, and video games that commemorate, re-live, or even celebrate the action of the war zone.
After the press is done talking and the bloggers stop blogging, however, do we really know what it's like out there on battlefields? Unless you've been in through it yourself, or have a friend or family member in the Armed Forces, chances are you don't.
Well, that's where Owen comes in. See, soldiers in World War I may not have had the technology of today's troops, but they probably share similar fears and even similar pain. At first glance, this poem may seem vehemently anti-war – but it actually directs most of its bitterness at the people who rally around the troops without ever understanding exactly what they're sending those troops off to do. Owen spent years on the battlefields. By most standards, he has earned the right to call it like he sees it.
Reading "Dulce et Decorum Est" may not be a walk in the park. But Owen's struggling with a difficult issue: he's trying to get a country to pay attention to the fact that people are dying. Whether or not you support of a particular war (or even war in general), it might be a good idea to listen to what he has to say.
The scene is described from the point of view of a soldier who is the poet himself, in fact he says: “we”, “our”, and he gives us a description of the exhausted soldiers. He uses a lot of adjectives suggestive of weakiness and exhaustion as we can infer by reading: “asleep”, “lame”, “blind”, “drunk”, “deaf”.
The idea of exhaustion is also suggested by the use of compound words as we can infer by reading “bent double”, “knock-kneeds” and “blood-shod”, and by the use of metaphors as in line 6 and 7:”blood-shod” and “drunk with fatigue”.