I need help identifying the event in Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est?"Wilfred Owen, who died in World War I at the age of twenty-five, wrote poems protesting the terrible slaughter and...

I need help identifying the event in Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est?"

Wilfred Owen, who died in World War I at the age of twenty-five, wrote poems protesting the terrible slaughter and suffering of war. In this poem, Owen describes a wartime event that few of his readers could ever have experienced. Explain what that event is. Thanks!

Asked on by tammels3x

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The horrifying event that the speaker in “Dulce et Decorum Est” describes is a fellow soldier dying from inhaling poison gas. The speaker is haunted by this event. Presumably, this is autobiographical since Own served in World War I. He describes the scene “under a green sea” because the gas mask he wears has a green tint. He uses the word “sea” because that's how the world looks to him but also because the poison gas causes the lungs to fill with fluid. So, the speaker literally is watching this other soldier drown in the green sea. He then walked behind the wagon they put the affected soldier in and watched him die en route to their next camp. The speaker tells the reader that if he/she would have witnessed or even dreamed of this sight, he would never ardently claim that it is right and fitting to die for one's country because the devastation should cause one to rethink the necessity of war. 

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