Anthem for Doomed Youth Questions and Answers
by Wilfred Owen

Start Your Free Trial

Why does Owen use rhetorical questions to open each stanza in his poem, "Anthem for Doomed Youth"?

Expert Answers info

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write7,132 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

When people ask a rhetorical question, it is often because the question has an implied answer. When the speaker asks, "What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?" the implied answer is none. The question itself is jarring, comparing the soldiers who die to cattle, perhaps because of the sheer numbers of those who die, or perhaps because they die without fanfare—without even being noticed. When the speaker asks, "What candles may be held to speed them all?" the implied answer, again, is none. There are no funeral masses or proper good-byes for these soldiers who "die as cattle" because their bodies may not even be recovered or sent home....

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 350 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial