Anthem for Doomed Youth

In: English and Literature

Submitted By hausofthomas
Words 764
Pages 4
Within the atmospheric poem, “Anthem for Doom Youth” by popular war poet Wilfred Owen, the harsh and melancholic nature of war is fully exposed. Owen makes excellent use of language, from and structure to further retell the horrors of war.
Owen makes use of structural devices to even highlight the damaging context of war, “Anthem” the is a 14 line poem into two stanzas, the rhyme scheme differs slightly from a Petrarchan sonnet (ABABCDCDEFEFGG) however this is ironic as the general theme of a sonnet is that of love- one may believe “Anthem for doomed youth” is in response to an unrequited love of God. Further Owen’s use of an irregular rhyme scheme (ABABCDCDEFFEGG) suggests the unharmonic nature of war; however the usage of full rhyme highlights the hope that the soldiers had, which was never requited.
Owen’s use of the phrase, “passing bells” is metonymical of a soldier’s funeral; the relevance of this is that, the funeral is alluded to on the first line of the poem thus pragmatically suggests that the soldiers were dead before they even began. Owen also explores metonymy through the diction choice, ‘anthem’, which acts somewhat ironic as the connotations of an “Anthem” are proud and glorious juxtaposing with the lexical connotations of ‘doomed’, Owen does this to parody the joyous and inaccurate propaganda given to the soldier of the time. Moreover, ‘anthem’ alludes to an important religious song which often expresses joy, again used ironically to reveal the horrific nature of war. This simple language further conveys the immaturity of the soldiers suggesting one cannot understand the true nature of war.
Owen represents the nature of war through animalistic imagery, “Who die as cattle” thus metaphorically suggesting that the soldiers who gloriously marched into war, were simply cattle marching into their death. Further the rhetoric of the sentence…...

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