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Compare and contrast the poets' attitudes to war in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and 'Dulce et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the poets' attitudes to war in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and 'Dulce et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen In this coursework I will be analysing two poems, 'The charge of the light brigade' taken from his writing on the Crimean War written by Alfred Lord Tennyson and 'Dulce et Decorum Est' taken from his writings on the First World War written by Wilfred Owen, both the poems show very different views on war. In Owens poem it shows horrific images of war, whereas Lord Tennyson's poem glorifies and praises war. I think that 'Dulce et Decorum Est' is more effective than 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' because Owen was there to see the events that took place in the war, so his account is much more reliable. 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' was written by Lord Tennyson. The poem was written to tell the whole world about the soldiers who fought in the Crimean war. The war was a suicidal charge by light cavalry over open terrain by British forces in the Battle of Balaclava (Ukraine) in the Crimean War during the years of 1854 to 1856. About two hundred and forty seven soldiers out of the six hundred and thirty seven soldiers that were in the charge were killed or wounded. The British soldiers entered the war, which was a fight between Russia and Turkey, Britain and France, because Russia sought to control the Dardanelles. Russian control of the Dardanelles threatened British sea routes. The poem is written in six stanzas, Tennyson writes his poem in six stanzas because in a war there are three stages. The beginning, the middle and the end. This is the same with Tennyson's poem because Tennyson also has a beginning, middle and end. The beginning of Tennyson's poem is the first two stanzas because the first two stanzas are about the advancement of the army. ...read more.

Middle

All went lame; all blind; D Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots C of gas-shell dropping softly behind. D As you can see from above it shows that there is a constant rhyme scheme. Owen probably tries to keep the rhyme scheme constant because just as the rhyme scheme stays the same likewise, Owen's opinion of war will stay the same. Owen's opinion of war is bad and unlike Tennyson's opinion of war is good. 'Dulce et Decorum Est' means sweet and honourable it is. The title is clever because it is ironic because the images that Owen tries to show are not honourable. Owen probably uses Latin because Latin is a very noble and honourable language however the images Owen portrays are far from noble and dignifying. In the first stanza the speed of it is very slow because Owen makes it a long stanza and depicts many images throughout the first stanza, he makes it slow in order for the reader to take in the images and reflect over them The first quote 'Bent double,' is an image which shows that the soldiers of the first world war were very exhausted and that they have no energy left in side their bodies also it shows that the soldiers were in a lot of distress. Owen probably tells the readers that the soldiers are tired because of all the weight they have to carry (e.g. Heavy bags.) whereas, in Tennyson's poem all the soldiers are full of energy and all ready to go to war. The simile 'Like old beggars under sacks,' suggests that the soldiers had no dignity left in side them and the soldiers have been reduced to something less than men and they are suffering terribly this shows the readers the image that the soldiers lived like tramps and poor people whereas in Tennyson's poem all the soldiers are not suffering terribly, the soldiers knew that they were going to die but they still went on to war with light cavalry (less armour). ...read more.

Conclusion

The simile 'his hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;' this image created by the poet is that the face of the dead soldier has suddenly been transformed from a young face to a very old and aged face. The rest of the description is horrific imagery because everything seemed to be like cancer and bitter as cud. I think that Owen tries to make very graphic images to show the readers how it felt to fight the First World War. And watch people gruesomely die. The quote 'My friend' tries to refer to us or the people who were sent to war and the people who go to war for glory, they are known as the aristocrats and to the proponents of war. The poet tries to tell us and the aristocrats that it is a bad thing to fight in a war. People say that fighting war is good but Owen says they are lying because he has experienced all this, he tries to tell us that it is horrible fighting to the war. Finally, the poet's mood as he writes his final verse is the angriest part in the whole poem because he is very angry that the people that do not know anything about war still go to war. Owen ends his poem by saying 'the old lie: Dulce et Decorum Est pro patria mori' means sweet and honourable it is to die for your country according to Owen he thinks it is a lie to die for your country because it is a nasty place when you go to war. Both the poems talk about war but not in the same way. The charge of the light brigade glorifies, elevates and praises war where soldiers die honourably for their country whereas Dulce et Decorum Est criticises and depicts the true honour of war. I personally think the most effective poem was 'Dulce et Decorum Est' by Owen because Owen is an eye witness of the First World War. Miladur Rahman ...read more.

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