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A comparison of Tennyson's, 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum Est'.

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Introduction

A comparison of Tennyson's, 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum Est'. In this essay I am going to discuss two poems, 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Tennyson and 'Dulce et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen. These two poems both consist of a war theme, with victims involved that give accounts on their experiences. I will also discuss the similarities of the poems. War in general is wrong and can always be avoided by some method. War is almost always started on a racial concept because all the wars that have gone by in recent years had always had one religion in general versus another. Tennyson wrote this poem after reading a press report which glorified war. The report uses emotive images and was patriotic. This will enable me to draw up a conclusion showing the different attitudes towards war. The first poem that I am going to write about is 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', by Alfred Tennyson. This poem is a narrative poem based on an account in the Crimean war in 1864 in Ballaclava when the Britain's took on the Russians for a fight over land. The poem describes the Light Brigade's hopeless charge towards the enemy's main artillery position. Their commander had mistaken his orders, and instead of sending the cavalry to retrieve some captured British guns, he sent them into a valley where the Russians were waiting with their firearms. The 600 men armed only with sabres could not match the Russian guns and cannons and few survived the short battle. The first verse of the poem is when the Light Brigade is walking, just before they are about to charge. This verse has repetition and rhyme creating the feel of horses galloping onwards with their pace, like the poem. The first two lines of the poem show this as an example - "Half a league, half a league, half a league onward". ...read more.

Middle

This verse makes me have more respect towards the Light Brigade because in a no win situation I haven't seen or heard anyone fight as bravely as the Light Brigade did. Tennyson finally emphasises his message in the final verse. This verse has a slower pace to the other ones that were at the start because it is slowing right down with the pace of the lyrics. Where it said, "When can their glory fade", Tennyson is using this metoical question to ask the reader if it remains in their opinion if they are still heroes or not. In my opinion I didn't think they were stupid to charge into a no win situation but should be praised for their courage in battle. The three most convincing lines that tells us to honour these men are, "honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, noble six hundred". Tennyson is now deeply complimenting the Light Brigade in saying how glorious they are. Tennyson also commands the reader to honour the men of the Light Brigade because of the noble task they did of fighting for country they should be honoured for bravery, nobility and praised for their efforts for their homeland. The message that this is saying is that to be a hero is everything although ignoring the success rate is not that important. I have sympathy for this poem because I don't believe that war is the only way for people to start things out physically. When I read the poem for the first time I knew instantly what each of the soldiers was thinking, it was like 'there must be some kind of mistake in the order, but if there isn't I will give it my all for my country in a tough situation'. The final poem that I am going to write about is 'Dulce et Decorum Est; by Wilfred Owen. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Dulce et Decorum Est' is his experience of trench life. In the end The First World War was about two sides fighting over land and, with losses in the millions range, was it worth it to fight over a few miles of land?. Men wanted the images of a hero by serving in this war but all they got from it was a crippling from what they may never recover. With each poem they all had strong images of war tattooed into them. In the charge of the Light Brigade it has a positive view of war at the start but in the end it has a negative view. This is because of the number of men that were lost in a no win situation but who are still honoured for their brave efforts. In 'Dulce et Decorum Est' it gives a supposed positive image of war but is a negative of dying for your country. War is only started on racial grounds and can only be avoided if society could push the violence of war aside and could be grown up and negate like civilised people. In conclusion, I think that the main difference in the way that war is presented in The Charge of the Light Brigade and Dulce Et Decorum Est is that Wilfred Owen was involved in war, and therefore he knows first-hand what war is like, and is writing from experience. In comparison to Wilfred Owen's attitude, Alfred Lord Tennyson writes his poem with a positive point of view, as he has not been involved in war and therefore has not experienced first-hand what the soldiers have to go through. Of the two poems I personally prefer "Dulce Et Decorum Est" as I consider Owen's honest portrayal of war a valuable insight which should be remembered and help people to understand the suffering of soldiers serving in war as this is too often forgotten. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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