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

Compare and contrast the portrayal of war in Charge of the Light Brigade and Dulce et Decorum Est.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast the portrayal of war in Charge of the Light Brigade and Dulce et Decorum Est Both "Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Lord Tennyson and "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen are poems about war. However, they were written in two very different contexts and about two very different wars. Charge of the Light Brigade describes a doomed cavalry charge made by British soldiers during The Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War (1854-1857). Dulce et Decorum est, on the other hand, tells the story of a group of soldiers who were caught in a gas attack returning from the trenches of World War I (1914-1918) towards their "distant rest". Alfred Lord Tennyson was the "Poet Laureate" at that time and wrote the poem after reading about The Battle of Balaclava in the "Times" newspaper. This could have influenced how he portrayed the battle as he used secondary information which could be unreliable. In contrast, Wilfred Owen had first hand battle experiences from World war I, and so you would expect his information to be more reliable, However he could have emphasised certain points for poetic effect. In Dulce et Decorum est Wilfred Owen uses a variety of similes metaphors and other poetic techniques to describe the actions, appearance and mental states of the soldiers. ...read more.

Middle

Both poets give a very different insight into what war was like during the period in which the poems were written. In Dulce et Decorum est, Owen gives the impression that war was terrible as he uses a variety of emotive language that is very graphical and hyperbolic, mainly in the third stanza. Such as "watch his white eyes writhing in his face like a devils sick of sin", this ironic simile implies that the war was so terrible that even the devil didn't like it. This is ironic because a devil usually loves sins. All through the poem Owen, give the impression that war is horrifying as in the first stanza he gives the idea that the soldiers are in a very bad state of health. In the second stanza, Owen describes the gas attack and gives the reader a good idea of how nasty it is to watch someone die in a gas attack. In the third stanza, Owen uses very graphical and descriptive language to describe the death of a soldier; this shows the reader that the death of a soldier was not an honourable one like what is shown in the propaganda but that it is dreadful and terrible to watch. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the first stanza Owen uses a range of similes, metaphors and personification to show how badly the war has taken its toll on the soldiers' physical and mental states. In the rest of the poem Owen uses very graphical language to describe a soldiers death in a gas attack, this is to show the reader that he strongly disagrees with the view that in a war you get a glorious death but instead it is the exact opposite. Owens general message in the poem is that war is bad and should be avoided at all costs. In contrast, in Charge of the Light Brigade Tennyson gives the impression that the British soldiers were fighting a loosing battle. Tennyson gives the impression to the reader that he is not against the war even if they were going to loose but he still praises the soldiers for what they did. In Charge of the Light Brigade Tennyson contradicts Owens views, and instead says that it is honourable to die for ones country even if you loose the battle. In general I prefer Dulce et Decorum est because of what the poem stands for, Dulce et Decorum est give the views that war is a terrible thing and Owen is very against it whereas Tennyson seems to be a lot more pro war. GCSE English Language and English Literature Poetry Coursework Paul Johnson 10L 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

    Compare and Contrast the Two War Poems -'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'The Charge ...

    4 star(s)

    Also the last two lines, 'The old lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.' shows how he completely disagrees with Tennyson's view and maintains that war was not at all sweet or honourable. This phrase particularly affects me, as I perceive it as incredibly false and untrue.

  2. Compare 'Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Dulce et Decorum est' considering each poets ...

    Excluding the final stanza, Owen does this simple by attempting to convey the horror of war. However, within the final stanza, Owen actually calls Dulce et Decorum est 'The old lie'. Although this statement is fairly blunt compared to the subtlety of his message within the rest of the poem,

  1. Explore the portrayal of war in Lord Byron's 'The Destruction of Sennacherib', Alfred Tennyson's ...

    Jesse Pope is a great example of this her poem called 'Who for the game' suggest war is as a game; fun and playful, when the reality is it most certainly is not and is very dangerous.

  2. Alfred Lord Tennyson - Discuss the poets' different attitudes to war, as presented in ...

    It is basically saying that the British soldiers were hacking away and killing the enemy, but it isn't described like that because the aim of Tennyson's poem was to honour the soldiers. The word "sabring" makes the British soldiers sounds elegant and sophisticated, as if they aren't doing anything wrong.

  1. Compare and Contrast Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum Est' with Rupert Brooke's 'The Soldier'

    When one is consumed with gas, they are in effect 'drowned' as the gas fills their lungs and burns the insides, and so a reference to 'sea' (water) is more effective than gas, hence the term 'drowning' has more prominence, and indicates the might of the ocean, as the 'storm'

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

    The location where this took place was in South Russia. The poem gives a story of the "Light Brigade" charging, but at the Russian cannons which hadn't been seen.

  1. Compare and consider the ways Tennyson and Owen present war in "The Charge of ...

    Jessie Pope- she had the same ideas and views about the war as Tennyson had. Firstly, from the title "Dulce et Decorum Est" the reader gets the impression that the poem will be in praise of the soldiers fighting in the war because part of its literal meaning in Latin is "It is a good thing..."

  2. Explore the portrayal of war in Lord Byron's 'The Destruction of Sennacherib', Wilfred Owen's ...

    Summer being powerful and autumn being "withered and strown". This shows how God is all-powerful, and that no matter how strong the Assyrian army was, God would defeat them. In the third stanza, he repeats the word "and" this shows how he is excited at the upcoming action.

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