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Compare and contrast the presentation of war and combat in "Sohrab and Rustum" and "The Charge of the Light Brigade".

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Introduction

Poetry Compare and contrast the presentation of war and combat in "Sohrab and Rustum" and "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (900-1500 words). Both "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and "Sohrab and Rustum" are poems which dwell mainly on heroism and present the ideas of war and combat in a false light. Although "The Charge of the Light Brigade" does portray suffering and injuries, it does not dwell on them as it was written in the 1800s and in this period of time, one could not criticise war or the government or serious action would be taken. "Sohrab and Rustum" presents combat and war as magnificent and fantastic but rebels against father and son or family members fighting. "Sohrab and Rustum" was also written in the 1800s, more specifically in the 1830s; during this day and age, combat and fighting was seen as a manly 'activity' that was not frowned upon. ...read more.

Middle

As soon as the combatants clash "a cloud grew suddenly in Heaven, and dark'd the sun over the fighters' heads; and a wind rose under their feet". It is very artificial and cartoony, the contrast is so strong that the fighters are "alone", in darkness, stormy weather, and "gloom", whereas "the on-looking hosts on either hand stood in broad daylight, and the sky was pure, and the sun sparkled on the Oxus stream". The word "gloom" is repeated several times throughout the poem, but only in the parts where the combat is described, as they are detached from everything else around them and it represents the consistent negative atmosphere. Then, toward the closing of the poem, the weather changes again as the victor stood "safe upon his feet" the "sun broke forth, and melted the cloud". "Sohrab and Rustum" is also a poem that does not dwell on the suffering and pain in the fighters, it implies that they do not feel any pain ...read more.

Conclusion

"The Charge of the Light Brigade" is a very different poem. It is one, which does not dwell on injuries, casualties, and failures not because it does not want to, but because the poet couldn't write such things. Although the poet has included subtle yet noticeable criticisms toward generals and war in general, the readers of that day did not realise that what Tennyson was saying was criticism as he wrote in a very clever way, which made every sentence seem like it had a double meaning and could be interpreted in two ways. Alfred Tennyson wrote like other war poets who wrote in the 20th century. Although he did not have as much freedom of speech as they did, he still conveyed his feelings and attitudes to war in a very sophisticated manner. He, also like 20th century war poets, criticised the high-ranking officers and praised the soldiers for obeying orders and doing what they were told to do, whether right or wrong. Khalid Attia English Coursework ...read more.

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