The Fury and the Mire

Jon Stallworthy

in The Oxford Handbook of British and Irish War Poetry

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199559602
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 The Fury and the Mire

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  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)
  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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This chapter is concerned with the controlled fury found in battlefield poems. It studies the controlled fury that can be found in Wilfred Owen's ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’, which persuades readers that the events it narrates are true, that its truth is shocking, and that people should do something about it. The chapter also examines other battlefield poems and introduces the concepts of exemplum or example, and moralitas or a moral coda of passionate indignation. It determines that the Second World War poems have had less impact due to the fact that the readers have become more attuned to prose instead of poetry.

Keywords: controlled fury; battlefield poems; Wilfred Owen; Dulce et Decorum; exemplum; moralitas; passionate indignation; moral coda

Article.  5415 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets) ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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