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

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Compare 'Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Dulce et Decorum est' considering each poets attitude to war Both the poems 'Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Dulce et Decorum est' are written in times of war, with both poets detailing the events. 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', written by Alfred Tennyson in 1854, during the Crimean War, details the charge of an English Cavalry of 600 men against the well-protected batteries of the Russians. This mistake lead to the death of over 400 British soldiers. 'Dulce et Decorum est' (translated as 'It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country) was written by Wilfred Owen during World War One, follows the story of a gas attack and the death of a soldier. Although both poems focus on aspects of war, the poets' attitudes to conflict differ dramatically. Tennyson chooses not to focus on the horrific events of war, but instead honours the hero's the battle has produced, 'Honour the Light Brigade, noble six hundred!'. In contrast, Owen describes the terrible events of World War One in which he took part. Owen's intension seems to be to shock and disgust the reader and convince them that Tennyson's glorified views of war are totally false. ...read more.


Using repetition helps to set up a rhythm within the poem, the resulting rhythm mimicking that of the horses' hooves clattering as they ride into battle. Again, this adds sound effects to the readers' image of war, making the plight of the soldiers more real. This repetition of sound is repeated within the last line of each stanza. The first three stanzas end with the line 'rode the six hundred', with the final three ending 'not the six hundred', 'left the six hundred' and 'noble six hundred'. These slight variations within the set phrase allow the reader to follow the progress of the soldiers within the battle, making it clear what is happening to the soldiers. Tennyson uses quotes within his poetry, "Charge for the guns!' he said'. This gives the reader the idea that authority is involved, as the only person given speech within the poem is this unnamed authority figure. In a later stanza, Tennyson writes 'Some one had blundered', suggesting that the authority figure was to blame for sending the soldiers into a impossible battle. Using quotes allows the reader to feel involved in the battle and empathize with the soldiers killed by their mistake. In contrast to 'Dulce et Decorum est', Tennyson does not address to reader directly, fir example 'their but to do and die'. ...read more.


However, this is unimportant as each stanza describes a different phrase of the war, and it is therefore unnecessary that each stanza has the same rhyming scheme. In comparison, 'Dulce et Decorum est' has a fairly clear rhyming scheme, excluding the final stanza. I think this poem is written in stanza form in order to make the change in pace between the soldiers walking back to camp and the gas attack more noticeable. The rhyming scheme of abab cdcd is constant throughout the poem, apart from the final stanza. The different rhyming scheme within the final stanza is very effective as it is clear that Owen has finished reliving the events of the war, and is instead talking directly to the reader. Whilst analyzing their content, I have developed a favourite between the two poems. I have come to prefer 'Dulce et Decorum est', mostly due to my opinions on war. When writing the poem, Owen has taken on a very realistic and negative view of war. In comparison, Tennyson focuses mainly on the heroic side of war, a view I see as being misleading. I also feel more obliged to read Owens poem, as he written it from experience and has actually suffered through the terrible events he describes through his poetry, however, Tennyson, the poet loriet of the time, has not experienced war. ...read more.

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