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Compare and consider the ways Tennyson and Owen present war in "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and "Dulce et Decorum Est"

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Introduction

Compare and consider the ways Tennyson and Owen present war in "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and "Dulce et Decorum Est" "The Charge of The Light Brigade" and "Dulce et Decorum Est" are both poems written about war. "The Charge of The Light Brigade" was written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and "Dulce et Decorum Est" was written by Wilfrid Owen. However, despite this similarity they are both completely different in the way they present war- the wars were different too. "The Charge of The Light Brigade" describes what happened in the Crimean war and "Dulce et Decorum Est" was written describing what happened during World War One. We can also tell that they were written at different times because they were both completely different wars. From this, we can also tell that because they were different wars, different forms of combat were used to fight the enemy and this may have affected the views the poets had about war. Weapons in the Crimean war were much more primitive than the weapons in World War One and may have influenced soldiers' opinions. The weapons of World War One had a devastating effect on the enemy and weapons such as mustard gas killed the enemy in excruciating pain, and even if the enemy or opposition did survive, they would have been emotionally scarred for life which may have changed the views the soldiers had on war, but just because the weapons of the Crimean War were more primitive, it does not mean that they had any less an effect on the enemy. These weapons were barbaric and weapons such as cannonballs basically killed hundreds of soldiers at a time, this could also have led to the soldiers being emotionally and physically wounded for life. The main way that the two poems are different is that the two poets have completely different opinions about war and its outcomes. ...read more.

Middle

Also, from the above expression "before my helpless sight" Owen feels he can do nothing about the soldier dying in pain. He feels he is powerless and unable to help him as he watches the poor soldier "guttering, choking, drowning." These three words are written in the present participle which gives an extra impact to the readers' interpretation of the quotation. These three words give the reader a sense of presence in the text and make them feel involved, as if they are actually watching the soldier dying a most agonizing death. In the second stanza of "The Charge of The Light Brigade" all of the action is about to take place taking place. To make it sound all the more heroic, Tennyson uses the imperative "Forward". This makes it sound as if the commander is commanding his soldiers to go out and attack and from this. Dramatic irony is created here, as the reader knows that this will result in the soldiers' doom because of the mood of heroism created by Tennyson earlier on in the poem. A rhetorical question is also used to show that the soldiers were totally obedient to their commander and didn't let their country down. After the command "Forward the Light Brigade!" the soldiers didn't stop and thin or disobey their leader. This is shown from the rhetorical question "Was there a man dismayed?" This emphasises the soldiers feeling of loyalty towards their country and makes the reader or whoever is reading the poem feel proud of the soldiers and makes them have a sense of admiration towards the soldiers and their sense of duty. To further emphasise this, Tennyson uses techniques like repetition and rhyming couplets. An example of this is in the quotation: "Their's not to make reply, / Their's not to reason why" In the above quotation, the words "Their's not" are repeated, this could have two interpretations; firstly it could mean that the soldiers were dutiful towards the order of their commander and didn't ...read more.

Conclusion

Owen writes: "My friend, you would not tell with such high zest / To children ardent for some desperate glory, / The old Lie: Dulce et Decorum Est / Pro patria mori." Again Owen has used the second person to address the reader and he is warning poets like Tennyson and Pope not to go around telling innocent "children" (This makes them sound very young and innocent) with tremendous enthusiasm "The old Lie". The word "Lie" has a capital letter in front of it which emphasises just how big a lie it is. The "Lie" is "Dulce et Decorum Est Pro patria mori" which translates as "it is a sweet and befitting thing to die for your country" Every word in his poem has been to prove this. War is not as heroic and as dignified as it sounds or as people of that time made it sound. There is no sweetness or pride in war. Overall, this poem gets its point across to the reader by using emotive and explicit language. I think this is one of the reasons of why it is so successful. It targets the emotional side of readers and makes them sympathise for the soldiers fighting in the war. This, along with some other poetic devices is what makes this poem so effective in getting its message across to its readers. In conclusion, I think both poems are very different to each other. In fact, they are completely the opposite but both are very useful and effective in getting their points across. However, in my opinion, "Dulce et Decorum Est" delivers the stronger message because of the way of how it effects the reader's emotions by using the poetic techniques explained. It has a very powerful, moral message and supports it very strongly. The poem shows how it opposes poets like Tennyson and Jessie Pope who romanticise war and, shows the consequences of being misled by these poets. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mohammed Patel, 10G1 ...read more.

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