• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare the different attitudes to war shown in Dulce et Decorum est and The charge of the Light Brigade.

Extracts from this document...


Paul Bodman Compare the different attitudes to war shown in Dulce et Decorum est and The charge of the Light Brigade Both of the two poems are about war, but they convey completely different attitudes. This essay will compare and contrast them. Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum est was influenced by his own personal experience of war. He fought in France during World War 1, and had seen the horrific conditions soldiers endured, which are described in his poems. It can be said that his non glorifying approach in his poems is caused by what he had seen. Unlike Tennyson, Owen describes the real conditions in considerable detail, and fills his poems with much social criticism and protest, for example "He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning" This is effective because it gets the audience to think about why they are stereotyping the soldiers as bold and brave, like Tennyson's poems, when in fact war should not be glorified in any way. Owen describes the horrific way soldiers died, and gets a much stronger picture across, for example "under a green sea, I saw him drowning" The green sea is effective because it exaggerates gas, making the audience realise what a horrific battle this is. In Tennyson's poems, however, he only briefly describes the battle. Doing this he makes it seem glorious - "boldly they rode and well" This shows how Tennyson thought that these soldiers were brave, and should be honoured. ...read more.


This faster pace is mirrored in the pace of the poem, like the rhythm of horses. Tennyson uses metaphors to describe the battlefield as "the jaws of death". This implies that it is like a mouth eating the soldier, and that death is inevitable. However he never questions war, unlike Owen, and instead of talking about the bad parts, he focuses on the honourable side. This is why the poem isn't as politically accurate as Dulce et decorum est. Another sense of bravery is the fact that the soldiers were fighting with "cannons to the left of them, cannons to the right of them." Using repetition, Tennyson emphasises how the army was completely surrounded, and therefore very brave to keep fighting until the bitter end. In Dulce et decorum est, the type of combat is completely different to The charge of the Light Brigade. The soldiers use guns and gas - a lethal combination as proved in verse 4 - "The white eyes writhing in his face", and "the blood come gargling from the froth corrupted lungs". This graphic description shocks the audience, shows them just how dangerous the gas was, and makes them realise a silent killer is definitely not glorious, but in The charge of the Light Brigade, the weapons are swift, metallic and grand, such as swords. This creates an image of a strong, fearless, handsome fighter, and the deaths suffered were quick and less painful than the internal deaths of the First World War. ...read more.


He describes the deaths as "obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud of vile, incurable sore on innocent tongues" Here he is saying how the soldiers didn't deserve to die, and they should be mourned, not honoured. As well as this, an imperative is used - "Gas! Gas! Quick boys!" This shows the difference between warfare. In the charge of the Light brigade, it is a loud, active battle, but in Dulce et decorum est, the battle is fought in trenches, using stealth techniques and the silent killer - gas. Owen also uses personification to tell us that the feelings people have about war are wrong - "the old lie." This is shown because it compares the phrase to a person, a liar, and this persuades the audience to change their mind because Owen is saying that they are liars in a very subtle way. Also, the title of the poem is shortened to Dulce et decorum est instead of it's full title because the full title means "it is sweet and honourable to die for your country" If this was the title, people would believe this was his opinion and then would be surprised when they find it is not. Using the shortened title it is sweet and honourable; this doesn't indicate a pro-war poem. I prefer Dulce et Decorum est because it is not propaganda like the Charge of the Light Brigade. It is an actual account of a real battle, so therefore is more accurate and heartfelt. Tennyson's poems glorify war, and make them seem grand, which is not how it was. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and Contrast the Two War Poems -'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'The Charge ...

    4 star(s)

    The word 'beggar' creates a powerful image, as the beggars are usually the lowest of the low, begging for money to survive. These men were similar to them as they were begging for their life. Also, it says they are 'under sacks,' this could be like their protective shield against

  2. A comparison of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'and 'Anthem ...

    Sound is also important in 'Anthem for Doomed Youth'. Owen uses it to make more stark the contrast between the real and imagined burial.

  1. Compare and consider the ways Tennyson and Owen present war in "The Charge of ...

    If the reader saw the soldier's death they would not romanticise and glorify war as poets like Tennyson and Jessie Pope did. Another difference the reader notices about the last stanza of this poem is that in Tennyson's poem, he talks generally about the soldiers as a whole getting killed,

  2. Dulce Et Decorum Est - review.

    exhausted this sudden burst of adrenaline helping them to race for their stored masks and run as far as they could to get away from a certainly painful and excruciating death: "And fitting the clumsy helmets just in time" This suggests how they were not far from being consumed by the gas and how some narrowly escaped it.

  1. Personal response to "Dolce et Decorum Est", "Disabled" and "The Charge of the Light ...

    In line 4, the man "wonders why" he wanted to join the army. This shows that he regrets even considering joining the army to go to battle. I think that this man will think that he was very stupid in joining the army just so he has a good reputation from his friends.

  2. Alfred Lord Tennyson - Discuss the poets' different attitudes to war, as presented in ...

    In the third stanza the soldiers are in range of the enemy's guns and in stanza four, the soldiers are forced to turn back because so many men have been killed. Even though at this point the British soldiers are being defeated Tennyson emphasises their bravery.

  1. Analyse the two poems 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Wilfred Owen and 'Charge of ...

    The poem is in a chronological order, it tells a story as the poem progresses, the poem is also anecdotal as Wilfred Owen is remembering what happened that fateful day, I know he is reminiscing and not telling it as it happened as he quotes 'In all my dreams', obviously

  2. Dulce Et Decorum Est

    the words used for the mood and is mainly conveyed by the words cursed through sludge and old beggars, the slow would be shown by how they are wounded, tired and probably dying, they are only thinking of one thing rest and even a chance to die in peace, they

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work