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A Comparison of "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Tennyson with "Dulce Et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen.

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Coursework Sian Confrey A Comparison of "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Tennyson with "Dulce Et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen. "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Tennyson and "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen are two very different war poems. "Dulce et Decorum Est" is a poem about the WW1. Differently to Tennyson, Owen is writing from his own experience, his personal reaction towards the war and about the grief terror and bitterness of war. Where as Tennyson writes to reassure the public that a soldier's death is a noble and heroic sacrifice. 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' is a Latin motto which means 'It is a lovely and honourable to die for your country' and so leads us to expect a lovely and glorious view of war. However the irony is the contrast between the title and Owen's view on war through out the poem. The contrast is clearly illustrated with the first line 'Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,' which is telling us that there is nothing flattering about war. He is referring to the people that were rallying the soldiers, who gave a false image of war to young men that were keen to be soldiers. The glorifying image they were given was appealing, but they had no warning of the real horrors of the battlefield. ...read more.


As under a green sea...' This makes us think of someone drowning or on fire. There's no sense of hope, there's just pain and horror. We haven't actually seen anyone killed by gas but we know what it might be like to be too hot or to struggle for breath while swimming. Owen brings the scene to a reality that we have experienced so that we can visualise the horror ourselves. Then there's a gap which separates what happened then and his feelings now. It obviously still affects him, 'In all my dreams, before my helpless sight'. The memories still terrify him, and he relives that day over in his nightmares 'He plunges at me, guttering...' he feels guilty and disguisted with himself for leaving the soldier. During that space it's as if there should be silence, it's like Owen he is taking a deep breath to try and take in all his memories that he's reliving by writing this poem. In the last stanza of the poem Owen is directly addressing the propagandists and us personally asking whether 'you too could pace... Behind the wagon that we flung him in," There's so much lack of care because there is so much death one more doesn't matter, that's where the stanza's power comes from. The alliteration of the 'w' 'watch the white eyes writhing in his face' is a very bitter and angry sound. ...read more.


'Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward,' Those words also suggest the movement of the soldiers as well 'Rode the six hundred', 'Forward, the Light Brigade' All these suggestions of movement help the reader imagine these six hundred soldiers charging into battle. The obedience of the soldiers towards what they've been ordered to do is also emphasised using repetition and rhyme, 'Theirs' not to make reply, Theirs' not to reason why, Theirs' but to do or die.' These lines suggest to the reader the soldiers' sense of loyalty and duty, which overcomes their fear of death and what faces them ahead 'into the valley of Death' 'Cannon to the right of them, Cannon to the left of them, Cannon in front of them,' These lines put the reader in the shoes of those soldiers approaching the Russians. It gives you the sense of claustrophobia and it brings the reality of them being surrounded with these cannons. These lines are repeated in the fifth stanza, when the remaining soldiers are retreating with 'cannon behind them' which makes it clear to us that these soldiers were retreating and running away from these cannons. Tennyson uses the use of onomatopoeia verbs and alliteration effectively, and they help recreate the sights, sounds and actions of the battle. 'Stormed at with shot and shell', is an example of alliteration, used so you can almost hear the gunshot in the syllables. It is also used to portray the constant attack of the firearms and weapons, but despite ...read more.

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