• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

By comparing and contrasting a selection of war poems consider the ways in which attitudes to war have been explored and expressed. When considering poetry written post 1914 concentrate on a selection of poems written by Wilfred Owen.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The tradition of war poetry By comparing and contrasting a selection of war poems consider the ways in which attitudes to war have been explored and expressed. When considering poetry written post 1914 concentrate on a selection of poems written by Wilfred Owen. The main point in time which has affected the evolution of views expressed through poetry about war was the First World War or the 'great war', in 1914, "the war to end all wars". One poem written before this time was 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Tennyson. The use of rhythm is particularly noticeable, which is demonstrated by the first two lines, "half a league, half a league, half a league onward", which has a strong rhythmical sense of repetition. This gives the effect of the rhythm of horses surging forwards, portraying a sense of excitement, energy and drama. This is ironic due to the number of people killed during the act. This strong rhythmical pattern is repeated throughout the poem, which gives the reader a sense of urgency and continuation. Tennyson suggests an incomplete positive opinion about the charge with the line "some one had blundered", which hints that the mass death incurred was unnecessary; however, it is then used instead to demonstrate the bravery of the soldiers as chivalrous knights. ...read more.

Middle

Their death as cattle is the tragic result to King Henry's inspiration. In contrast to the glory and splendour perceived by 'charge of the light brigade' the word "cattle" suggests mundane and dullness. This banal image shows Owen's extreme anger towards the war. Owen then uses personification in the line "monstrous anger of the guns", to portray the guns as if they were living and feeling emotions, thus worsening their appearance to the reader. This personification as a monster is similar to that used by Tennyson in 'charge of the light brigade', in the line "into the jaws of death", which both have the connotations of being unstoppable and terrifying. The use of the alliterated 'r' in the line "rifle's rapid rattle" reflects the speed of the machine gun fire, which builds on the point of massive amounts of indiscriminate death. Owen uses the visual and aural images involved in funerals to progress the poem to an emotional stage with the line "save the choirs" which suggests a momentary chance of actual recognition for the soldiers, but this is then replaced by "the shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells", which have very powerful emotional nuances, such as the act of unstoppable crying at a moment of intense grief for "wailing". The word "shrill" implies a high pitched and dissonant cacophony of ugly sounds, and "demented" suggests uncontrollable chaos. ...read more.

Conclusion

Suddenly, Owen introduces a shouted inchoate exclamation, in the line "Gas! Gas! Quick boys!", which shows a dramatic recreation for the reader of the events which occurred. This is followed by a temporary pause of relief, which is followed by the line "but someone was still yelling and fumbling", which portrays the agony of incompetent movement. The use of three 's's shows urgency because of the repetition, which is significant because it depicts the excruciating exigency to fit their helmets in time. In the final section, Owen directs his criticism towards pro-war poets, specifically Jessie Pope, whom he hated for the excitement she instigated through her ignorance. It ends with the lines from which the title was derived, described as "the old lie", which refers to nineteenth centaury poetry, e.g. Henry V, because of the word "old". By referring to it as a "lie", he is attacking these poems, which not only explains the irony of the poems title, but also reinforces Owen's position of communicating the realties of trench warfare. In conclusion, the tradition of war poetry has evolved as the public's awareness of its realities gas changed. One of the poets who actively developed war poetry after 1914 was Wilfred Owen, who passionately hated the way in which war was glamorised and made to appear exciting and honourable. His poetry was contrasting to the majority of pre-1914 poetry, but is now the most widely recognized and remembered. Nick Wall 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore how the theme of love is presented in Birdsong and a selection of ...

    4 star(s)

    return, were all lies aimed to induce the men to go to their deaths. This theme symbolises a loss of love between man and his country, and sees patriotism taking a backseat to more intense loving emotions. Perhaps the most significant form of love to arise in both the war

  2. In the wars, Robert Rose is a very significant character.

    HORSE page sixty-four The horse was fallen and looks at Robert. Robert begins to think about the dilemma of killing someone or something. HORSE page sixty-five This reference to the horse shows how hard it was for Robert to kill someone.

  1. Examine the way two poems by Wilfred Owen show the real horrors of war.

    But to any man not involved in the war, this would be a problem easily overcome. Here, Owen suggests that the soldiers were not correctly fitted out with equipment and supplies. This implies chaos and disorder because men would probably fight for equipment they didn't have and needed.

  2. World War 1 Poetry.

    Rhetorical questions tend to stick in peoples minds for longer rather than just a normal sentence, they force the reader to consider what the poem is trying to say. There is one particular phrase in the third stanza, which sums up Jessie Pope's attitude towards war.

  1. Compare 2 war poems demonstrating an awareness of the poets' attitudes towards war.

    The forms of the poems are quite different. In "War Photographer" Duffy neatly used six lines in each of the four stanzas. The reason she wrote in this certain way is to make it seem neat and easy to read.

  2. The First World War changed the way that people thought about war and patriotism. ...

    'The General,' was written by Siegfried Sassoon. Sassoon demonstrates his sarcastic style in this short, direct poem. The poem begins with the soldiers going up to the front line, crossing the General on their way. Unlike the soldiers the General is cheerful and greets them as he passes.

  1. Personal response to "Dolce et Decorum Est", "Disabled" and "The Charge of the Light ...

    The repetition of the phrase "six hundred" is continued in this verse again, but this time Tennyson writes, "they rode back, but not, Not the six hundred". This basically tells us the many deaths which resulted from the charge of the Light Brigade.

  2. Comparison of Wilfred Owen Poems.

    They are just being led along like zombies because they are inexperience and have no clue to what is happening. These men are but mere shadows of the bright vibrant people that started on this epic journey. The pace of the poem quickens in the second stanza.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work