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Compare the Different Attitudes to War Shown in the Poetry of Tennyson and Owen

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Todd Simmons Compare the Different Attitudes to War Shown in the Poetry of Tennyson and Owen I have studied two poems 'The Charge of The Light Brigade', by Alfred Lord Tennyson, a poet laureate, and 'Dulce et Decorum est', which was written by Wilfred Owen, who served as a soldier in world war one. There is a very large difference between the attitude to war in the different poems, 'The Charge of The Light Brigade' was secondary evidence because Tennyson read his information for the poem in an article and was inspired, while Owen, on the other hand, is speaking in first hand evidence as he was a soldier in the famous trench wars, on the front line. Tennyson was inspired by the bravery of the soldiers of the Light Brigade and was intrigued by the article and decided to write a poem to commemorate the sheer glory of the courage. The poem emphorcises the bravery and glory of the men that charged at the Russians during their war. Honour was an important factor in this war, as the time of the war everybody who joined the army only did so, for the glory of the British, to fight for their country was a great achievement for every soldier, although there is a good feel to the poem, it is gloomified by the horrors of battle. ...read more.


I think that it is obvious that he is making the point that the trenches were wet and sodden, and also how unfortunate the soldiers were. The poems are very different in the way they are formed as 'Dulce et Decorum est' begins at a slow pace, whereas the charge of the light brigade starts at a face pace, Tennyson continues the slow pace until he builds up to a faster climax. Owen continues the fast pace throughout the poem "Cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, cannon behind them." This is the fast paced 'Charge of the Light Brigade'. Tennyson uses repetition for emphasis "Their's not to make reply, theirs not to reason why, theirs not to do and die." This does emphasise to the reader the bravery of the men as they didnt question what was asked of them. However Owen uses similes to describe the mens suffering "Like old beggars" this portrays the exhaustion of the soldiers as they make their way through the trenches. The title of Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce et Decorum est" is in contrast with the poem, as the old Latin phrase means 'it is sweet and fitting to die for there country, whereas the poem actually means, people should not die in such a terrible way. ...read more.


Then a similie which describes the man that was dying from mustard gas, "And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime", this describes how much pain and agony the man was going through. Then the last simile in the poem is in the last verse which again describes the man who had died, "His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin" this shows how the dead man looked, Owen compares him to the devil. The two poems both have a different message for the reader, Tennyson's 'the Charge of the Light Brigade' wants people to honour the brave men, "Honour the charge they made!, Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!". Wilfred Owen on the other hand leaves a direct message for the oncoming and unsuspecting soldiers, The most important part is the message to the reader in the last verse "If in some smothering dreams you too could pace" Wilfred Owen tells the readers that he has nightmares about that man, "My friend, you would not tell with such high zest" Owen also tells the reader that its hard telling kids these storys, these two quotes tell the reader directly how horrific the sights were and that it has stayed in his memory. ...read more.

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