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Comparing Dulce et decorum est and the charge of the light Brigade.

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Introduction

Comparing Dulce et decorum est and the charge of the light Brigade Although both 'Dulce et Decorum Est� and 'The Charge of the Light Brigade� are about battle and the death of soldiers, they portray the experience of war in different ways. Tennyson�s poem celebrates the glory of war, despite the fact that, because of an error of judgment ('Someone had blundered�), six hundred soldiers were sent to their death. Owen�s poem, on the other hand, might almost have been written as a challenge to Tennyson�s peom. He presents the horror of senseless death in the trenches and shows us how saying 'it is sweet and becoming to die for your country�, is a lie. Tennyson�s poem is a celebration of the bravery of the six hundred British troops who went into battle against all odds, even though they knew that they would be killed. The poem starts in the middle of the action. 'Light Brigade� gives a sense of the excitement of war: 'Half a league, half a league Half a league onward� Tennyson creates the bravery ...read more.

Middle

This again deludes the reader into thinking that dying in such a horrific way is all worth fighting for the country. Wilfred Owen in his poem is asking us to question Tennyson's views of war. The theme of 'Dulce� is that war and dying for one�s country are not at all not glorious. This message portrayed throughout the poem from the first stanza to the last line. In the opening stanza you get a very different image of the soldiers from what you might expect from the title. Tennyson thinks of soldiers as smart, proud, marching, and fighting, but Owen�s picture is based on his personal experience of the battlefield. There is nothing dignified about Owen�s soldiers. They are 'Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge� Again this is very honest and showing a completely different side of war to the respectable one which Tennyson tires to inflict on us. Owen presents the reader with details of what people looked like and how they felt. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reader can imagine the soldier�s life flickering away. In Owen�s poem death is intensely presented as the opposite of glorious: '...the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin� It is as if he is filling the poem with as many ugly images as he can: '...............................the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues�. During the man�s death it is as if you are reliving his torture. Owen gives us a detailed picture of the war: he talks in the first person, 'I saw him drowning�, and describes one dying man, in contrast to Tennyson�s rather impersonal 'six hundred�. He wants us to imagine that we are actually there on the battlefield so we get an idea of what it was like. This poem is the closest we will get to experiencing war and if we had, Owen tells us in the final lines, then we would not try to glorify the war any more. Marilyn Dempsey 11G ...read more.

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