'The Last Laugh' by Wilfred Owen: Devices used in ‘The Last Laugh’
Devices used in ‘The Last Laugh’
Devices are tools that the poet uses to make their poem more memorable or to force home their message. For example some poems use rhyme a lot (like a limerick).
In ‘The Last Laugh’ Owen uses quite a few ‘devices. Look at the poem again and see if you can spot any of the following:
Alliteration – where you repeat a similar sound, usually a letter, over several words, e.g. delving deep down (repeats the letter ‘d’). Can you see any examples in the poem where Owen might be doing this deliberately?
Personification – where you make out that an object (e.g. a book or gun) is actually a living creature, you turn them into a ‘person’ by making them do what people do. Can you see any examples where Owen makes an object seem like it is a human being?
Onomatopoeia – a difficult word to pronounce but it means a word that sounds like a real event, e.g. bang, woosh, crash. Are there any words here that Owen uses to create the sounds of the guns firing?
Owen also uses words in a strange way. We might think of words like ‘smiled’ or ‘grinned’ to be in a funny poem, or ‘kissed’ in a love poem. Does he do this?
'The Last Laugh' by Wilfred Owen
A brief introduction to Wilfred Owen's poem 'The Last Laugh' with questions on the poem, and a look at how it was written.
Created by Stuart Lee.