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A comparison of 'The Patriot' by Robert Browning and 'The charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson

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Introduction

A comparison of 'The Patriot' by Robert Browning and 'The charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson 'The Patriot' by Robert Browning and ' The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson both illustrate two individual views on the Crimean war. 'The Patriot' is written in the first person using "I" which portrays the poem as more personal. It is written in the past tense and recalls the speakers' view of the war, whereas 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' is written in the third person but also in the past tense. Both poems take us the reader from the events during the war to after the war and both poets try and convey their feelings and emotions concerning the war. Robert Browning, through his poem, suggests that he was "burgled" in the metaphorical sense. During the war he was viewed and treated as a hero and patriot. "Alack, it was I who leaped at the sun". He fought the war for his country "To give it my loving friends to keep", keeping it safe and protecting it for his friends and people of his country. ...read more.

Middle

This makes us the reader feel ashamed rather than sorry, because of the fickleness of the public response to the hero's actions and services to his country. Under each stanza, Tennyson uses repetition "the six hundred". The repetition changes in the fourth stanza and from then on it no longer conforms to the pattern as before "rode the six hundred" suggesting how strongly everyone was supporting them. Towards the end this changes to "Not the six hundred", then ending with "Noble six hundred". The transition between the two represents death, as after death they are viewed as noble because they died fighting for their country. This indicates a more positive end to the poem, but the poem views war itself as a monster dragging the men helplessly into "the jaws of Death" and "mouth of hell". In the second stanza of "Charge of The Light Brigade", Tennyson uses alliteration, "Theirs but to do and die", by using this technique he is able to demonstrate the inevitability of them dieing, but at the same time, the glory of them doing. This line describes the whole poem, it's a poem about innocent men doing something that is almost certainly ill fated, and dieing for their cause. ...read more.

Conclusion

"O the wild charge they made" honours all "six hundred" men, and even after death Tennyson glorifies them "When can their glory fade?" representing how highly the speaker viewed these men. Both poems represent war in a negative way. In the case of Robert browning, how it changed the speakers life from being thrown from one extreme to the next, a hero to a criminal and how the war robbed him of his previous glorification. In the case of Alfred Lord Tennyson, robbing bold brave men of their lives 'devouring' them into "The valley of death". The readers of both poems know that these men were blindly motivated by loyalty and a sense of duty, and because of this they paid the price of their own lives. I think both poets are effective in evoking the passionate feelings and purpose across to the reader and they both, in their own individual ways, truly demonstrate how destructive and devastating war really is, yet still the fighting continues today in Iraq, Ireland, Afghanistan, Israel, Rwanda, the list is endless, as is war. When will we learn that all war brings is death, pain and destruction? Lindsay Barr 11W ...read more.

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