The Old Lie - Ducle et decorum est pro patri mori

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a radio play script which is a transformation of the Poem Dulce Et Decorum Est.

Submitted: November 22, 2011

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Submitted: November 22, 2011



Dulce et decorum est Radio Play


John: “I don’t know if I can carry on much longer in this satinous sludge. It is so thick and tiring to keep on walking all the time knowing wondering if we are to die”.

Owen: “John you aren’t the only one cursing and struggling through this sludge but we are told that we must by those supposedly superior to us despite us being the ones doing the hard work.”

Background noise of soldiers muttering

John: “I’m so tired of war though, it’s really beginning to get to me both mentally and physically like I’m being chipped away at daily. I’m just so tired of all this pain and misery.”

Owen: “There’s nothing that we can do about it, so watch the sky for those bloody shells. We don’t want one of them to land and we all get killed because you’re not paying attention John.”

Sound of a large bang in the background

John: “Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!”

Frantic noise of people trying to fit their gas masks on and hissing of gas

John: “I can’t get my bloody gas mask on”.

Sound of a body hitting the floor and continued hissing of gas

Frantic noise of running around and people choking

Gradual ending of the hissing gas noise

Owen: “John are you ok!” “John!”

Sound of john muttering and then silence

Owen: “Come on Lets fling him in the back of the wagon, we haven’t got time to waste lads. Yet another death of a young boy, but we are told we must carry on by those who don’t risk their lives for Britain but those who risk our lives to save theirs.”

Sound of ruffling

Owen: “Look at his white eyes writhing in his face sagging face. The face of a devil but the heart of a god. He looks like a man four times his age with gas-infected lungs and body a shadow of its former self. Such a waste of a young life full of potential to be something magnificent.”


Owen: “Come over here and help me soldier”.

Soldier: “Yes, Sir!”

Owen: “Find out John’s details and send a message to his family. His mother, I presume as her is so young. All I know is that he is called John.”

Soldier: “Yes, sir!”

Sound of a soldier checking John for details/ruffling

Soldier: “His name is john Brown and he is from London, sir. Some of the other lads have told me that he is 18 years old and does not have a girlfriend. Apparently he is a butcher who had the war propaganda like ‘Who’s For The Game?’ drummed into him every day until he joined up.

Sound of soldiers muttering and then silence

Owen: “John, my young comrade you are another victim of this old lie, dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. You would not have joined in search of desperate glory portrayed in ‘Who’s for the game?” if you had known the reality that would befall you, the certainty of death and misery before that, only for people back home to criticise what we are doing. This is no way to be day. This old lie dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

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