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

Comparing poems 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Amy Taylor 11.2 Comparing poems 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' Both 'Dulce et Decorum Est� and 'The Charge of the Light Brigade� are poems about war and the death of soldiers, but they express two very different attitudes to war. Tennyson�s poem 'Light Brigade' shows that war is about being heroic and brave, even though six hundred soldiers were killed because of a simple error "Someone had blundered" but they were still heroic. Owen�s poem 'Dulce', on the other hand presents the horror of war and unexpected death near trenches and it also shows us how the line "Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori" (it is sweet and fitting to die for your country), is fiction. It is said that Tennyson wrote 'Light Brigade' after reading about the battle of Balaclava in 1854, he himself was a civilian so had not personally had experience or seen the battle that he describes. Unlike Owen who was a soldier at the time he wrote 'Dulce'. Tennyson's poem was written to raise the morale of people at home about the soldiers in the Crimean war, not to tell them the truth about the horrors of war. Compared to Tennyson who wrote his poem as a civilian, Owen wrote 'Dulce' while he was serving as an officer towards the end of the first world war. ...read more.

Middle

Owen based his poem around the single line "Dulce et Decorum Est Pro patria mori" (it is sweet and fitting to die for your country), he wanted to show that it is far from sweet and fitting but horrible and unjustified, from start to finish. "... you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old lie: Dulce et Decorum Est Pro patria mori" This final stanza sums up what Owen wanted to get across to the reader, that if you knew the truth as he did you wouldn't be so happy to tell children about the war just for a bit of glory for your country, it's not something suitable for children's ears. He gives this image of the awfulness of war from the very start in stanza one. He gives a different image of the soldiers from what you would expect, soldiers are thought of as respectable, smart and proud men but the picture Owen paints is unpleasant and ghastly. The soldiers are described as "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed..." Owen puts across the truth to the reader about how the soldiers felt and looked like and it adds to how unpleasant the war was for the men "Men marched asleep. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that they "flung him in" says just how death at war was not respectable and every dead body was treated as a piece of meat not a human being anymore, surely this alone shows how unjust it was to die for your country. Owen gives us a detailed description of what it was personally like to be in the war, he writes in first person "I saw..." and describes one mans death which he experienced close up. Compared to Tennyson's impersonal "Nobel six hundred" which attacked and weren't taken by surprise while unprepared. Owen's wants us to imagine for ourselves what it was like as if we were there experiencing the ordeal and not to glorify the war anymore it is not a glorious thing. Tennyson wants us to think of the war as a Nobel thing to go and fight and it is honourable if you show braveness and fearlessness, the two poems are completely the opposite to each other. I think that out of the two 'Dulce' is the most touching and powerful, it is the closest you could get to war, the tragedy and pain without actually being there. It helps that Owen was there and can relate to the ordeal himself and so can help people to understand the truths and meanings of war, it uncovers lies of the propaganda and criticises war in general. ...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. Personal response to "Dolce et Decorum Est", "Disabled" and "The Charge of the Light ...

    The fact that one man is not able to put on his gas mask and chokes gives an example of one man dying in a way that could not possible be described as sweet or honourable. The last verse is a plea to the reader to renounce their opinion that dying for your country is noble and honourable.

  2. Confronting the Lies

    Owen uses alliteration to get this firmly across to the reader. It is also an onomatopoeia, which makes the war come alive to the reader through sound. Owen exposes how dead soldiers receive orisons but they aren't real. The truth is that inn the war, there isn't enough time for prayers to be said for the dead.

  1. Compare the different attitudes to war shown in the poetry of Tennyson and Owen ...

    The fact that the British army were in this grave position was bad enough, but that they were `like old beggars' is the ultimate disgrace to the army that was arrogant enough to believe that they were unbeatable. This was poignant at the time he wrote the poem.

  2. Compare and Contrast 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' with 'Dulce ET Decorum Est.'

    Russell's editorial in The Times. These are the three words that had such a powerful effect on Tennyson himself. He doesn't expand on the error or point the finger of blame, he simply states the fact. It is in these two lines that the reader senses an element of fear.

  1. Comparison Of the Two War Poems - "Dulce et Decorum Est" and "Charge ...

    The two lines - "But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime..." show how helpless the man was, the very air around him a fire unto his body, and should he breath it in , he would be burnt from the

  2. comparison and contrast of two poems: 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Dulce ...

    The poem it self is written in six stanzas of varying lengths. This reminds me of six scenes in a movie, the middle ones being a climax and the ones leading up to it slowly setting the scene for a big showdown.

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

    He used words in speech marks and ending with an exclamation mark, since this will allow the poem to become more dramatic. The order to charge is the central to the poem because it is a result of a 'blunder' which is the guarded criticism and disparagement Tennyson makes of the military authority's order to 'charge' down the wrong valley.

  2. Compare and contrast the two poems "Dulce et Decorum Est" (Owen) with "Charge ...

    This could be firstly because of the times and positions the two writers were in. As Owen was a soldier, he spent months in the revolting conditions in the trenches near the front line. This is shown by the way the soldiers were "coughing like hags".

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