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Compare Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum est' and Lord Alfred Tennyson's 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'.

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Introduction

Comparing poems There have been many wars throughout time. Most people learn the facts through: papers, films, books or poems, but I am comparing two similar poems which have different meanings. Wilfred Owen who wrote the poem 'Dulce et Decorum est' or Lord Alfred Tennyson who wrote 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. They are both based around the theme of war. Lord Alfred Tennyson is pro war and thinks it's a good thing to die for your country. His poem was written to memorialise the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean war (1854 - 56) he wrote it ten years later, on: April 10th 1864. He was born in 1809 and died at the age of 83 in 1892. Wilfred Owen is against war and he writes about the First World War, He was in the war unlike Alfred Tennyson and Owen expresses his feelings more disapprovingly. Wilfred Owen was born in 1893 and his poem was published in 1920 (December). Both these poets have strong but opposing views about war. 'Dulce et Decorum est' means it's a good and noble thing to die for your country, which is ironic as Wilfred Owen doesn't think this is true and he thought war was horrific. This poem is about the First World War and Owen describes how he feels and he describes the trenches appalling from first hand experience. ...read more.

Middle

Owen makes the horrors stand out by describing his dead body in detail 'If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs' this emphasises how Owen saw him cough up blood and I think that Owen wants to make it clear how awful war is. The line which gives the overall message of the poem is 'the old Lie: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori' Concludes the poem. Using the capital 'L' in 'Lie' Owen is making it stand out because to him he doesn't believe this. In contrast to 'Dulce et Decorum est', Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote the poem, pro war 'The charge of the light brigade'. The title suggests that the poem is going to be about the good in war and not the horrors. Tennyson doesn't want to mention that war is negative. The poem is based on the battle of balaclava in the Crimean war. The content is different to 'Dulce et decorum est' as they are both about dissimilar conditions in the war and both have different overall messages; one that it's a good thing to die for your country and another saying that he doesn't believe that is true. Although the structure of the poem is similar as they both talk about war and describe what it was like fighting. Both poems start similar with a description of the trenches but Tennyson doesn't want to mention death. ...read more.

Conclusion

Owen's use of verbs is different because he emphasises death more. Like in 'Dulce et decorum est', Tennyson's overall message comes across at the end of the poem. He describes them as hero's of what's left of 600 'Honor the charge they made! Honor the light brigade! Noble six hundred.' Tennyson uses exclamation marks to show that he admires them and thinks they are brave, but in Owen's he uses exclamations because he's scared. Tennyson uses a rhetorical question 'When can their glory fade?' suggests Tennyson thinks they will always be brave and famous for fighting for their country. Both poems have very strong views about war. 'The Charge of the light brigade' has a very strong view about the good in war unlike 'Dulce et decorum est' who thinks it is a bad thing to die for your country. There attitudes are different because Owen is always describing how atrocious war is and describes the deaths around him and he describes how terrible the battle field is. Tennyson on the other hand tries not to mention death and he doesn't describe the atmosphere of injuries, he says they are hero's. The poems are very different though, they have different uses for the same punctuation and emphasise lines for different things, Likes Owen would emphasise death and Tennyson would emphasise the heroes with the way they use the same punctuation. The poem I Preferred would be 'Dulce et decorum est' because it is smaller but makes you imagine the battle in much more detail. His use of metaphors makes you see the scene more clearly. ...read more.

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