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Dulce et Decorum

Grades 6-8 | Analysis | Source Text


Learning Standards


Writing prompt: In “Dulce et Decorum Est” and “Who’s for the Game?” each poet presents a strong point of view about war.  Write an essay comparing how each poet develops the point of view and what effect each poem is intended to have on the reader. Use textual evidence from both poems to help develop your response. 


Your response will be scored on how well you: 

  • Demonstrate your understanding of the ideas of the text 
  • Use evidence from the text to help develop and support your ideas
  • Organize your response in a logical manner
  • Demonstrate an appropriate writing style through the use of precise word choice and varied sentences
  • Use standard conventions for writing 


“Who’s for the Game?” was written to spur young men to join the war efforts.

"Who's for the Game?" by Jessie Pope 


Who’s for the game, the biggest that’s

played, The red crashing game of a fight?

Who’ll grip and tackle the job unafraid?

And who thinks he’d rather sit tight?

Who’ll toe the line for the signal to ‘Go!’?

Who’ll give his country a hand?

Who wants a turn to himself in the show?

And who wants a seat in the stand?

Who knows it won’t be a picnic –

not much- Yet eagerly shoulders a


Who would much rather come back with a

crutch Than lie low and be out of the fun?

Come along, lads –

But you’ll come on all right –

For there’s only one course

to pursue,

Your country is up to her neck in a

fight, And she’s looking and calling

for you.



Dulce et Decorum Est” was written in contrast to “Who’s for the Game? 


"Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen 


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, 

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we curse through

sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our

backs, And towards our distant rest began to 


5         Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, 

But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame,

all blind;  Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to

the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly



Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! - An ecstasy of fumbling 

10        Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling 

And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime. -

Dim through the misty panes and thick

green light,  As under a green sea, I saw

him drowning.


15        In all my dreams before my helpless

sight He plunges at me, guttering,

choking, drowning.


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, 

20        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

Bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, -

25        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. ¹


1Literal translation: It is sweet and right to die for your country.





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Last modified
13:34, 31 Oct 2016


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