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Reading Poetry: 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' 2

In this worksheet, students read the second part of the poem 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen and answer questions about how the writer is trying to influence the reader. Students should ensure they have read the first part before attempting this worksheet.

'Reading Poetry: 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' 2' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Reading

Curriculum subtopic:  Support Comprehension Through Knowledge

Difficulty level:  

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Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Please complete the worksheet on part one of this poem – titled 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' 1 – before you do this one.

 

Read the second half of the famous Wilfred Owen poem below.

 

 

*****************

 

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

 

*****************

 

 

Now answer the following questions on the extract. If you need to read it again as you go through the worksheet, you can click on the Help button.

Wilfred Owen uses the personal pronoun "you" to invite the reader to walk behind the wagon with the dying man on. What effect does this have on the reader? Choose THREE.

It challenges us.

It shows that the soldiers were not that different to us.

It shows that is was a long time ago.

It forces us to imagine being there.

Wagons were how they moved dead bodies then.

Owen describes the soldier's eyes as 'writhing' in his face. What kind of word is this? Write the missing word in the answer box below.

 

The use of the ______ 'writhing' is powerful because it shows that he is completely out of control and in a lot of pain.

The narrator describes that they 'flung' the man into the back of the wagon. How does Owen want the reader to think about this action?

It was a cruel thing to do.

They have no respect.

He's dying anyway, and they have not got the energy to look after him.

Wilfred Owen uses a simile to describe the man's face: "Like a devil's". What does he mean by this?

That the soldier was evil.

That the gas has twisted his face.

That the other soldiers hated him.

In typical war poems, death is described in heroic ways. Here, Owen describes a different kind of death. Which words below are from Owen's description of death, and which are more 'typical' for war poems?

 typical death of a soldier description of death in the poem
obscene
brave
slayed
cancer
stabbed
bitter
vile
beheaded
innocent

Towards the end of the poem, Wilfred Owen writes: "My friend". Who is he talking to here?

The soldier who is dying.

The soldiers who are still alive.

The reader.

Owen describes children who are "ardent for some desperate glory", so they go to war as soldiers to gain this glory, status and to become heroes.

 

How does he want us to feel towards these young soldiers? Choose THREE options below.

To feel sorry for them.

That they have been conned.

That they are stupid to believe what people tell them about war.

That their lives have been wasted.

That they are stupid to go to war.

The last lines are written in Latin: "The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est/ Pro patria mori."

They roughly mean that it is a lie to say that it is sweet and right to die for your country.

 

How would people during the times of the First World War reacted to Owen saying this? Choose THREE statements from the list below.

They would mostly agree with him.

They would be shocked.

It would seem unpatriotic.

It was treason to say this.

They would think that he wasn't supporting the soldiers.

  • Question 1

Wilfred Owen uses the personal pronoun "you" to invite the reader to walk behind the wagon with the dying man on. What effect does this have on the reader? Choose THREE.

CORRECT ANSWER
It challenges us.
It shows that the soldiers were not that different to us.
It forces us to imagine being there.
  • Question 2

Owen describes the soldier's eyes as 'writhing' in his face. What kind of word is this? Write the missing word in the answer box below.

 

The use of the ______ 'writhing' is powerful because it shows that he is completely out of control and in a lot of pain.

CORRECT ANSWER
verb
EDDIE SAYS
Writhing is a verb, which means to make twisting, squirming movements with your body.
  • Question 3

The narrator describes that they 'flung' the man into the back of the wagon. How does Owen want the reader to think about this action?

CORRECT ANSWER
He's dying anyway, and they have not got the energy to look after him.
  • Question 4

Wilfred Owen uses a simile to describe the man's face: "Like a devil's". What does he mean by this?

CORRECT ANSWER
That the gas has twisted his face.
  • Question 5

In typical war poems, death is described in heroic ways. Here, Owen describes a different kind of death. Which words below are from Owen's description of death, and which are more 'typical' for war poems?

CORRECT ANSWER
 typical death of a soldier description of death in the poem
obscene
brave
slayed
cancer
stabbed
bitter
vile
beheaded
innocent
  • Question 6

Towards the end of the poem, Wilfred Owen writes: "My friend". Who is he talking to here?

CORRECT ANSWER
The reader.
  • Question 7

Owen describes children who are "ardent for some desperate glory", so they go to war as soldiers to gain this glory, status and to become heroes.

 

How does he want us to feel towards these young soldiers? Choose THREE options below.

CORRECT ANSWER
To feel sorry for them.
That they have been conned.
That their lives have been wasted.
  • Question 8

The last lines are written in Latin: "The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est/ Pro patria mori."

They roughly mean that it is a lie to say that it is sweet and right to die for your country.

 

How would people during the times of the First World War reacted to Owen saying this? Choose THREE statements from the list below.

CORRECT ANSWER
They would be shocked.
It would seem unpatriotic.
They would think that he wasn't supporting the soldiers.
EDDIE SAYS
At the time, people supported the soldiers and thought that going to war was a valiant and patriotic thing to do. It is only now, in the future, that we can appreciate how tragic the deaths of the soldiers were and how many lives were wasted during the war.
---- OR ----

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