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Compare and Contrast Tennyson's ' The Charge of the light brigade ' with Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum est '

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast Tennyson's ' The Charge of the light brigade ' with Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum est ' War, what does this word mean? The dictionary meaning of war is a conflict between one or more nations. Many people think war is a way of solving futile problems that rise between nations. The true meaning of war to me is the destruction of entire civilisations and of humans, war takes in brave strong and glorious men and women and spits them out as fragile haggard ruins of men and women. The gruesome stomach churning images of people being blown up, arms ripped from torso's, people bleeding to death, this is the real meaning of war to me. These two historically accurate astounding poems where written in completely different eras of time and during two very different wars, the Crimean war and World war 1. The Crimean war was fought between the Russian and English forces during the 1850's. After initial success in Crimea the war became disastrous and a number of aspects contributed to the 50,000 strong English force being forced backwards. World War 1 was fought mainly in France between the Germans and allied forces from 1814 to 1819. ...read more.

Middle

The tone in both poems is very different from each other. In Owen's poem the tone is bitter, ironic, pessimistic, unpatriotic whereas in Tennyson's poem it is the opposite and is celebratory, exultant and patriotic. The title of Owen's poem Dulce et decorum est which means it is a sweet and seemly thing to die for your country, is very ironic as Owens whole poem is about how war destroys and kills people. He mocks this statement calling it the old lie. Owen uses oxymorons: "An ecstasy of fumbling" this shows the effect war has had on the men, they need to rush to get their helmets on before the gas kills them but as they are rushing they are falling all over the place due the weakness and frailty caused by the war. Owen also uses similes: "floundering like a man in fire or lime. " this phrase is showing how to man was writhing and jumping about like a fish out of water or like a man being burned to death. Tennyson does not use oxymorons although his whole poem could be described as an oxymoron as he is celebrating the fact that people have died. ...read more.

Conclusion

The last stanza in each poem is shorter than all the rest. In both poems it seems to be as if the rhythm and metre from previous stanzas have been leading up to these final statements. Owens makes a very bitter and undeviating statement mocking, "the old lie" and showing the ghastly truth behind sentiments that influenced the soldiers to fight, he still thinks off them as heroes but thinks they died like animals. Tennysons last stanza is more straight forward with one meaning which is to show the valour of the men of the light brigade and to honour them for eternity. Although both poems are diametrically opposed, they have the same common goal to get the reader to believe in their view of war. We see at the end of each poem we are being told what to believe. In owens poem we are told that dying for your country is sweet and seemly is a lie and in Tennysons poem we are told honour the light brigade honour the charge they made After carefully comparing and contrasting these two poems I have come to the conclusion that, Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum est' view of war is true. His poem was outstanding. The imagery he used illustrated to the highest his view of war and the tone and atmosphere was created perfectly by a good rhythm and pace which move along with the poem. ...read more.

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