Essay on Wilfred Owen

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Wilfred Edward Salter Owen, MC (March 18, 1893 – November 4, 1918) was an English poet. Owen is regarded by some as the leading poet of the First World War, known for his war poetry on the horrors of trench and gas warfare. He died in action in France in 1918; most of his poetry was published posthumously.

Born at Plas Wilmot near Oswestry in Shropshire on the 18th of March 1893 of mixed English and Welsh ancestry, he was educated at the Birkenhead Institute and at Shrewsbury Technical School. He worked as a pupil-teacher at Wyle Cop School while studying for the University of London entrance exams then, prior to the outbreak of World War I, as a private tutor at the Berlitz School in Bordeaux, France.

On 21st October 1915, he
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Relationship with Sassoon
Owen, however, would have strongly disagreed with the assumption that he was superior, or even that he was a poet opposed to war. His poems criticise the conditions of the First World War, but his poetry is relatively unconcerned with its motives. He held Sassoon in an esteem not far from hero-worship, remarking to his mother about Sassoon that he was "not worthy to light his pipe". Several incidents in Owen's life, as well as some of his poems (e.g. It was a navy boy) and his circle of friends in London, have led to the conclusion that he was a closet homosexual, and that he was attracted to Sassoon as a man as well as a more experienced poet. Surviving letters show quite clearly that he was in love with Sassoon, but there is no evidence that Sassoon reciprocated his feelings, or that their relationship ever became sexual. Indeed Sassoon rarely mentions him in either letters or diaries from the time, and in 1946 described his behaviour at Craiglockhart War Hospital as 'consistently cheerful'. However, Harold Owen, Wilfred's brother, was responsible for Owen's letters and diaries after his mother Susan died. Harold Owen is now credited with the destruction and editing of hundreds of Owen's letters, including scoring out sections and destroying others. He was also responsible for changing the commendation of Wilfred's Owen's Military Cross so that it looked less bloodthirsty and more in keeping with the popular perception of the

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