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‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and ‘The charge of the Light Brigade’

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Introduction

ENGLISH COURSEWORK WAR POEMS Both 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and 'The charge of the Light Brigade' are about the death of soldiers in battle, but both these poems portray this experience in two very different ways. 'Dulce et Decorum Est' is based on the first world war, and Wilfred Owen speaks about his own experience of his tribulations in the war. Owen disagreed in the glorification of war, and was against the propaganda and lies that were being released to the public. He felt he had an obligation to tell people the truth behind the war, and how the patriotism that was said to be included in a soldier dying for his country was a lie. He talks of how hard life was in the war, and it was very difficult to live the life of a soldier. 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' however is the opposite, as it glorifies war, despite the fact that due to an error by someone, six hundred soldiers died. His poem Is based on the Crimean war, and more precisely, the battle of balaclava. Tennyson was a civilian and was not a soldier, unlike Owen. 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' was written as a morale booster for soldiers and civilians alike. This poem increased the morale of the soldiers fighting in the battle. However, he was not an eyewitness in this battle, unlike Owen. The poem celebrates the bravery and courageousness of the 600 soldiers' that were sent into battle with no real chance of winning, ...read more.

Middle

We can see the nobility of these soldiers being taken away: Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind; We see here that the marching, which is associated with soldiers, is not happening as the soldiers are exhausted, and are compared to hags struggling through the mud. We are shown that life in the army takes away a soldiers' youth and vitality, and the lifestyle of the war degrades the soldiers. We see that they are quite the opposite to Tennyson's 'noble six hundred.' The first stanza shows how there wasn't much action for these soldiers, who even ignored the noise of shells dropping, and the first stanza is a very quiet, in active stanza. Owen tells this stanza using the words 'we' and 'our', showing again that Owen was involved in the war and this incident. We see that the soldier's main aim is to get to safety, and not to defend their country, as they are numb with the experience of the war. We see that they are 'marching asleep', so they are vulnerable to attacks, and are not ready to defend themselves. A constant use of punctuation is used to make the stanza seem longer, and to extend the pauses between the lines. This is used to show how long it takes the men to get back to the trenches, and how fatigued the soldiers are. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand, Wilfred Owen's poem had a little more reality in it, as it accounted the death of a soldier, and the poem showed how the soldiers had to react to the death of the soldier. This poem has a sensitive touch to it as it focuses on the death of one particular soldier, while the other poem focuses on 600, which has no real sensitivity to it. Tennysons poem was about the Battle of Balaclava, yet it had no detail about that battle whatsoever. Society's outlook on war was very much the same as Tennysons poem, as they didn't know what was the grim reality of the war, and didn't know what went on in the war, and the inhumane tortures soldiers had to deal with. Owen felt the way he did as he had saw the atrocities of what had happened during the war, and he didn't appreciate people who didn't know anything about the war saying that it was honourable to die for your country as it was just a propaganda front put on. I feel that Wilfred Owen's poem gives a better insight into the war and a better view on what war is really like. His poem gives a more of a truthful feel to it, whereas Tennyson's poem is a glamorised poem used to boost the morale of soldiers and civilians alike, and was really a poem in which not a lot of detail was put into it, and which only showed society's views. ...read more.

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