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Compare the presentations of war in Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Tennyson and Exposure by Wilfred Owen.

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Introduction

Compare the presentations of war in Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Tennyson and Exposure by Wilfred Owen. Alfred Tennyson and Wilfred Owen wrote poems about war, Tennyson from a report written about the Crimean War and Owen from his own horrifying experience. In Tennysons time going to war was honourable. It was essential to be patriotic, and his poem portrays war as quite exciting and dramatic. Owen went to war and his poem is about the reality of war. Tennyson is quite encouraging, talking about how noble the six hundred were, and how they will never be forgotten. "When can their glory fade? ... Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble Six Hundred!" Owen questions war, his poem is about the reality of war, the fear, the destruction; the massive number of deaths. However he called war necessary. He wrote "Since we believe not otherwise can kind fires burn; nor ever suns smile true on child, or field or fruit... therefore, not loath, we lie out here, therefore we were born..." He says that they were born to protect these things and keep themselves free. ...read more.

Middle

"Like a dull rumour of some other war". He calls fire a "dark red jewel" because they are so cold that fire is precious to them, like jewels. Tennyson's poem is action packed and full of speed. He uses words like 'charge', 'flash', 'boldly', and 'do and die' to show action and drama. In contrast Owen uses slow, painful words like 'ache', rumbles', 'cringe', 'drag', 'pause', 'depression', weary', and 'painful' to show how depressing it is where they are. These words effect the overall atmosphere of the poems because the words in Exposure are slow and depressing so the poem sounds slow and sad. The words in Charge of the Light Brigade are fast and action packed so the poem is fast and full of action. Both poems use repetition to emphasise important lines of the poems. For example Tennyson repeats the line "Rode the Six Hundred" at the end of every stanza to remind you of the loss of six hundred men. "Cannon to the right of them/left of them/ in front of them" is repeated to show they are being attacked and there is no way out. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tennyson's poem has more action rather than noise, where as Owen's poem has very quiet noises to hint that the snow is muffling the snow. In Charge of the Light Brigade there are six neat stanzas with eight lines. In Exposure there are eight stanzas. The last line is short and bleak "Is it that we are dying?" "We turn back to our dying" Charge of the Light Brigade is a very fast poem, full of vivid imagery. Exposure is a slow, sad poem full of very sad images and death. Charge of the Light Brigade presents war to be exciting and dramatic while Exposure shows war to be exciting and dramatic while Exposure shows war to be depressing and disgusting. However both Tennyson and Owen agree war is necessary because Tennyson talks about keeping their land and letting their children be free. In conclusion the two poems are very different in the way that Charge of the Light Brigade is almost upbeat and dramatic, whereas Exposure is very sad and depressing. Tennyson presents war as quite a risky adventure, and Owen presents war as terrifying and horrible. I think that pretty much the only similarities are that both poems are about war. ...read more.

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