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Analyse the two poems 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Wilfred Owen and 'Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Then, compare their differing views on warfare.

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Introduction

Rebecca Newiss GCSE English Coursework 11O2 Miss Walsh Analyse the two poems 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Wilfred Owen and 'Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Then, compare their differing views on warfare. In this essay I intend to discuss the two passionately opinionated war poems, 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Wilfred Owen based on WW1 and 'Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson which portrays the Crimean war against Russia. Both poems are heart wrenching, emotional and thought provoking, and expressively highlight the issues of war, glory, death and heroism, all in explicit detail and compelling imagery. I shall compare how one author can see war as glorious and exciting whereas the other empathises on suffering, injury and loss and tells us the reality in gruesome and uninhibited detail. I shall study how different authors present and explore the brutal realism of war, death and glory within the context of a poem. I shall investigate if first hand experience of war differs the authors view and how they portray the suffering and grievance. I will find the effects that mood, tone, the raised and ignored issues have on their targeted audience and the vivid images created in our minds. Also, how powerful vocabulary and successful language features help to make these issues so powerful, I shall investigate further. Firstly, I intend to analyse the poem 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Wilfred Owen, this poem is his personal account of when he was fighting in World War 1. The title, 'Dulce et Decorum est' is very symbolic and has a poignant meaning as it is Latin for; 'It is courageous and honorable to die for your country'. Therefore, the reader would instantly think that this poem is going to be promoting war as glorious and heroic and to encourage young men to go and fight, but as you read on this is not the case as we find that Wilfred Owen is strongly against war and all related issues. ...read more.

Middle

This attack was called the Charge of the Light Brigade and influenced the title of this poem. The structure of this poem is in seven stanzas that are all different in length. The poem does not have any rhyming couplets, but when read it does seem to flow and have rhythm. The poem seems to rhyme due to the fact that most lines have either five or six syllables, therefore the reader will be pausing at the same time on every line, this gives the illusion that every line links with the next. Although there are no rhyming couplets similar words are used on the ends of every line again to help encourage the flow of the poem, such as 'shell, fell, well and hell' are all used in the same stanza but not in couplets, these same set of words are hen repeated elsewhere in the poem. This poem is in a chronological order, we are following the story of the noble six hundred going into battle. The poem is not anecdotal as we are being told of something as it is happening, although this poem was written after the charge it is presented as if it is happening as we read it. The themes and issues highlighted in this poem are war; this is an account of a battle but brutal factors have been blurred for a more dramatic effect, this poem leaves out the horror, realism and reality in order to support nobility and glory to the death of the Light Brigade. Nobility is the strongest theme raised in the poem as it carries a patriotic nationalistic approach to war, they are know as the 'Noble six hundred', the poem is constantly paying tribute to them and their ability not to be paralysed by the fear of death and have blind obedience. It is the most poignant theme in the poem and is being constantly empathised throughout. ...read more.

Conclusion

Owen wants the reader to feel sad, disturbed and moved by his poem; he wants to shock them with the brutal mortality of what really happens at war. Tennyson wants his reader to believe war is good and honorable and wants them to feel proud that men would die for their country. In conclusion to this I feel that 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Wilfred Owen and 'Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson both have differing views on warfare due to their experiences. Owen has had first hand experiences, he has seen the suffering and death and therefore writes in a negative way, this has influenced his opinions on warfare and this is shown throughout this poem. Tennyson has never been to war, he has only read about it in the papers and has received a very biased account, this has influenced him to believe that war is glorious and noble, therefore he writes about war in a positive style. The messages given in both poems also link with the poets views, Owen has successfully pressurized and frightened the audience into conforming he does not allow them to have another opinion, the audience will believe that warfare is unnecessary if circumstances like the one Owen described are happening. Tennyson's message is not as clear, once reading his poem the audience will see the positive side to war and the advantages of fighting for our rights. Both poems have used thought provoking and fantastic imagery to portray their differing and highly opinionated views on warfare. Powerful literacy techniques and successful uses of metaphors and similies cleverly enhance the story and increase the pace, which influences the excitement. Therefore I can say that the experiences that a man has in connection to warfare will defiantly affect their view and how they present the issue in the style of a poem, also that poets will hide parts of the truth to emphasise their view and capture their audiences' minds. 2 Rebecca Newiss, 11O2, Miss Walsh ...read more.

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