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Compare and Contrast the Two War Poems -'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'The Charge of The Light Brigade'

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Compare and Contrast the Two War Poems - 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'The Charge of The Light Brigade' Wilfred Owen and Alfred, Lord Tennyson demonstrate their strong views and responses to war very differently in the two war poems: 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'The Charge of The Light Brigade' Tennyson's poem of 1854 was written about a battle that took place in the Crimea, in southern Russia. Tennyson was not personally involved in the battle and got his story from 'The Times.' His son told of how he wrote 'Charge' in just a few minutes after reading the article. And although it has been said that this battle would have been forgotten if this poem did not exist, Tennyson wrote it not knowing all the facts, which means he only knew one side of the story, unlike Wilfred Owen, who was in the war from the start until he died shortly before it ended. Owen asks us to question all the certainties that Tennyson is celebrating. Owen wrote 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' as he was being affected by World War One through first-hand experience; he was a lieutenant. It becomes apparent during the poem that Owen was strongly opposed to war, as he recounts a horrifying time that affected him deeply. Tennyson's message, however, was more patriotic and he wrote to praise England for the admirable soldiers who deserved honour and were worthy of respect for their actions. ...read more.


This implies that during the battle everything was extremely exhilarating and that feeling was worthy of their death. Whereas, the iambic pentameter that Owen uses creates a drained atmosphere, as it sounds like everyday human speech, giving it a laborious tone, this is the opposite of 'Charge'. This difficulty was shown in the poem by the lexis used. For instance, 'trudge' and 'blood-shod.' These are not romanticised at all, whereas in Tennyson's poem, it could be argued that he exaggerated the lexis to create noble images of the army. Tennyson employs exciting language in his poem such as 'flashed' and 'wild charge', which creates an impression of smart marching soldiers who weren't afraid of dying for their country; if anything, they were spurred on by the thought of doing something for their King and country. There is marching in 'Dulce', but instead of the men striding along as proud war heroes, Owen says 'men marched asleep' which implies a slow, arduous death march. Tennyson also uses onomatopoeia to persuade the reader of the excitement of the battle. 'Bare,' 'air' and 'there' from the fourth stanza could sound like the clashing of swords, which to Tennyson might have been the ultimate battle sound. Owen uses a semantic field of illness in his poem, using words like 'cancer' and 'incurable sores' inferring there was corruption in their midst, possibly from the men back in England, who persuaded the poor, ...read more.


In my opinion Wilfred Owen's perspective was most accurate. Owen wrote his poem in opposition to Jessie Pope and to dissuade people from going to war, which, with his use of graphic imagery and language, he manages to maintain throughout. The poem's structure reflects his perspective on the war. His imagery shows his pain; and the poem in general reflects how terrible war was in his eyes. His overall message was how war cannot be sweet and honourable if men have to go through physical and mental pain just to win against the enemy, which ultimately is just murder of fellow man. Whereas Tennyson is praising the men for their efforts, and being extremely patriotic in his writing. The battle-like structure helps the reader to feel like they were there, which also helps the reader to think that it was incredibly noble, brave and honourable to die in that way, for their country. Tennyson's lack of war experience means that he could not employ much imagery. Thus the poems were very different, not only in perspective (someone in the war to someone not), but in the message. Still, there are some similarities. They both use effective language to express their viewpoint. Both agreed that the men who went through the battle/war deserved honour for dying. For me personally, the men who died in war were heroes. The good thing about these poems is that their deaths will always be respected and remembered. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kelly Barber 10.1 English coursework 10ATA ...read more.

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This is an excellent essay which makes thoughtful and insightful comments. The writer has clearly researched social, historical and biographical details which has deepened
understanding of the poems. Comments are well supported by references to texts and personal opinions are thoughtful.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 07/08/2013

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