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‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson and The Dead Beat’ by Wilfred Owen

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Introduction

Lianne Evans Comparing Poems 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson and The Dead Beat' by Wilfred Owen The poems 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson and 'The Dead Beat' by Wilfred Owen are both about war. However, the two contrast in many ways. By looking at the attitudes of the poets, their use of rhyme and rhythm, their use of language and the form and layout of the poems, this can be shown. Tennyson's attitude towards war and the soldiers that fight for their country is made quite clear in his poem, as is Wilfred Owen's. Tennyson creates an impression that battle is fast and exciting yet dangerous whereas Owen's poem has a slower feel to it and battle seems far less 'action-packed'. ...read more.

Middle

The use of direct speech in the poems can show the poets opinions on how the soldiers were treated and how they thought. There is very little direct speech in 'The Charge of The Light Brigade'. This does not give the reader any real insight into the thoughts of the soldiers or how they were treated. The speech that is used is near the end of the first stanza and at the beginning of the second stanza. " Forward the Light Brigade!" This is simply an order given to 'the six hundred', who follow obediently. The placement of the speech makes it seem like a start to the battle. There is far more direct speech in 'The Dead Beat. The second stanza is entirely speech. This gives the soldiers a mind and a voice and shows more about what they were thinking. ...read more.

Conclusion

'The Dead Beat' only has the rhythm of normal speech making it seem more downbeat and dreary. The layouts of the poems also contribute to this. Tennyson has set his poem out in quite regular, short verses a lot like a song, whereas Owen has only three stanzas that are rather continuous. In conclusion it is clear that the two poems both give very different images of a battle and it's participants. 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' provides a glorious and noble view of brave soldiers risking their lives with great enthusiasm for their country. An important factor here is that Tennyson had no part in the battle and does not have first hand information. Owen however took part in World War One and therefore has a far more knowledgeable view of war. 'The Dead Beat' then provides a harsh but realistic scene. It shows soldiers missing home and faking illness, and a generally lacklustre atmosphere. ...read more.

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