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What is the formal structure of "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen?

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baby4u | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 21, 2008 at 11:51 AM via web

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What is the formal structure of "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen?

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 21, 2008 at 12:15 PM (Answer #1)

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There is no formal structure for this poem.  It is a 28-line poem that does contain some rhyming; the rhyme scheme is one that follows the pattern of abab cdcd efef, etc.; however, they are not presented in quatrains. The lines are broken up. There is more useful information at these two links:




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reidalot | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted May 21, 2008 at 11:27 PM (Answer #2)

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This poem can also be viewed as two sonnets. The first two stanzas, one of eight lines, an octave, and one of six, a sestet,could be seen loosely as a Petrarchan (Italian) sonnet though not in classical form as Owen does not strictly adhere to that rhyme scheme. The second portion of the poem is similar to a Shakespearean (English) sonnet, which consists of three quatrains (four line stanzas) and one couplet (two line stanza),though the stanzas are not broken into visible quatrains, but instead two stanzas, one of two lines and one of twelve lines.This may be one interesting way to look at this poem's structure.

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