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Compare and contrast the two poems, focusing on how the poets use language and imagery to represent war.

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Natasha Rix 10JT Compare and contrast the two poems, focusing on how the poets use language and imagery to represent war. Both poems are war poems of two different periods in history. 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', by Alfred Tennyson, was written before the twentieth century whereas 'Dulce et decorum est' was first drafted in 1917 by a poet named Wilfred Owen. Tennyson's poem was set in The Crimean War (1854-56) where the British commander made the mistake of charging at the main Russian position. He was meant to have retaken some guns held by the Russians. This had inevitably caused many deaths to the six hundred men that obeyed the order. Alfred Lord Tennyson was not at the battle scene, he created his poem through the description given in 'The Times' newspaper. Unlike Tennyson, Wilfred Owen's poem is based on his experience in the First World War. This poem describes how he and some soldiers were ambushed by a gas attack. Then he was forced to watch one of his men die after failing to put his gas mask on in time. ...read more.


This poem gets the reader involved by using imperatives such as "Honour the charge they made". Alfred Tennyson thought provokes the readers through his use of rhetorical questions, such as "Was there a man dismayed?" On the other hand, he may have used imperatives and rhetorical questions to get the reader to agree with the poet that soldiers are heroic. He may have wanted the readers to share his views and 'honour the light brigade'. The war was loud and noisy. Noise imagery is evoked with verbs like "volleyed" and "thundered", which could suggest the noise of the cannons being loud and threatening like thunder, as well as there was probably lots of guns firing everywhere. Unlike 'Dulce et decorum est', the last stanza is short and suggests an imperative conclusion. Tennyson has a patriotic view of war, he believes in fighting for your country. The poet here has ordered the readers to look up to and "honour" the "Noble six hundred" soldiers, whilst, Wilfred Owen's poem leaves you to decide for yourself whether you agree with him. ...read more.


Jessie Pope was a journalist and author of three volumes of cheerful, patriotic poems. These lines were meant to attack her for her patriotic "lie". It is strongly implied that war is wrong, so much so that even the devil is "sick of sin". Another possibility could be that the victim of the gas attack is so badly scared his face is like a sick devil. Tennyson, from what has been implied in the poem, views war something that is for the brave and people should respect those who have fought for Britain. Despite his patriotic view, he has repeated the danger of an early death in his poem, proving he is fully aware of war's horrors. Owen has shown war as being gruesome. His poem describes the war through the senses, which allows readers enter the shoes of Wilfred Owen, and understand war's tragedy. He believes that 'sweet and proper to die for your country' is a lie, unlike Tennyson. Alfred Tennyson's poem was based on a newspaper article that has made the poem biased and patriotic. I prefer Wilfred Owen's poem because I am able to see war through his experience and how The First World War has emotionally affected him. Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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