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Compare and Contrast the Presentation of War in "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Dulce et Decorum Est" and "After Blenheim".

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast the Presentation of War in "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Dulce et Decorum Est" and "After Blenheim" For this piece of coursework I will be comparing each of the poems mentioned above to each other and commenting on the way they present war and how it reflects the poet's views on war. Charge of the Light Brigade The story of the poem is about six hundred soldiers who were given the wrong orders by their commanders and were sent to their death because of someone else's mistake. They had been ordered to charge the wrong valley which lead straight into the enemy's guns. In the first stanza when the soldiers are given their orders they don't question them even though they know that they are wrong, "not to make reply... not to reason why". We are told that they know the commands are wrong when we read " someone had blunder'd". In stanza two the soldiers are riding into the cannons that are on all sides of them, " cannon to right of them... cannon to left of them... cannon in front of them." Even though they are getting shot down they continue riding on into the enemy army because that's how disciplined they are. In stanza three the soldiers begin their attack against the enemy with their "sabres bare". They attack their "Cossack and Russian" enemy after riding through the "battery smoke" of the cannons. After this initial attack the Light Brigade retreats but "not the six hundred" as many had already been killed. ...read more.

Middle

In the first stanza Owen uses lots of metaphors, "lame... blind... drunk... deaf", but none of these are true but it makes them sound so tired they have lost all of their senses. This helps with visualising your surrounding as you are marching with the soldiers. In the second stanza when the soldier is dying the metaphor he uses for this is drowning, he describes the gas as "a green sea" and describes the soldier as "drowning" and "floundering". In this metaphor he uses onomatopoeia: "gargling" and "guttering". In the first line of the second stanza, "Gas! Gas! Quick boys," Tennyson doesn't tell you what is happening but makes you think you are there in the middle of it. He continues this in the first line of the last stanza where he directly speaks to "you". "If in some smothering dream, you too could pace..." Everything that follows that line is what you can see happening and you are part of, "behind the wagon we flung him in." In the final few lines he asks you, "my friend", to make up your mind if war is a great thing or a horrible thing. He is also asking Jesse Pope to make up her mind but if you were reading this and didn't know to what it was a response to then he is asking every reader. After Blenheim The first stanza sets the scene of the poem. It is a nice summers evening and Old Kaspar is out watching his grandchildren play. ...read more.

Conclusion

O the wild charge they made..." shows us this. "Dulce et..." is written in response to a poem Jessie Pope wrote encouraging young men to join the army. It shows the nightmare of war, "If you could hear at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs..." I think "After Blenheim" was written to tell us of the sacrifices that have to be made in order to gain a victory in war. It tells us of some of the horrible things that happen like "and many a childing mother then... and new-born baby died... But things like that, you know, must be... At every famous victory." It shows the attitude of the poet; he doesn't mind all that destruction that goes along with war. Each poem also has a different message about war; "...Light Brigade..." glorifies war and says it is the most honourable way to die, "Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade... Noble Six hundred!" "Dulce et..." tells of how horrible war is and how bad a way it is to die and it is anything but honourable to die in battle or if you don't die how horrible the nightmares of battle are, "In all my dreams before my helpless sight... He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning." "After Blenheim" was written warning us about the sacrifices of war but not to worry as it is all needed for a victory, "Why, 'twas a very wicked thing! Said little Wilhelmine; Nay... Nay... my little girl, quoth he, It was a famous victory." 1 Charles Millar 11W ...read more.

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