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Dulce et Decorum est' - Wilfred Owen'The Charge of the Light Brigade' - Alfred Lord Tennyson Compare the ways in which these poems describe the experience of war

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Introduction

'Dulce et Decorum est' - Wilfred Owen 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' - Alfred Lord Tennyson Compare the ways in which these poems describe the experience of war Both of the two poems are written by English people about war. Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' about the Crimean war displaying it as a glorious event. The other poem, 'Dulce et Decorum est' was written by Wilfred Owen. His poem about the First World War displays war as a much more monotonous and grim event. The writer of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' read about the battle of Crimea in a newspaper that spoke of a famous charge against the Russians. During the battle, the British charge straight on at the guns, which had never been done before. The poem was written in 1854, during the Crimean war. When Tennyson wrote the poem, he was poet laureate. Tennyson had never seen war, he only wrote about war. The aim of the poem was to boost the morale of the British and encourage people to support the army. He was not writing about the realities or war. 'Dulce et Decorum est' was written in 1916 during WW1. The writer, Wilfred Owen was sent back from the front with shell shock. Wilfred Owen speaks of the realities of war promoting a very different message given by Alfred Lord Tennyson. ...read more.

Middle

The forth stanza opens with visual imagery. 'Flash'd all there sabres bare' gives the reader an image of the soldiers blades. Tennyson writes about sabres later on in the poem in the line 'Cossack and Russian reel'd from the sabre-stroke' implying the enemy had been badly cut up. When Tennyson describes the Light Brigade charging the cannons he describes them as plunging, a word often associated with being fast and sudden. Tennyson ends the forth stanza with the lines 'Then they rode back, but not, not the six hundred'. The lines use repetition and the lines slow down the pace of the poem talking about how not all the soldiers returned from the charge. The fifth stanza ends similarly with the lines 'all that was left of them, left of six hundred' which delivers exactly the same effect as the last lines of the forth stanza. The pace of the last stanza slows down and Tennyson ends the story of the charge of the light brigade. The first line of the stanza describes the soldiers as having 'glory'. Tennyson writes this to honour the soldiers. The second line describes the charge as 'wild' a word often used to describe things that are out of control. This suggests the soldiers were very brave to charge and makes them appear heroic. The forth line of the final stanza 'honour the charge they made!' commands the reader to honour the charge they made. ...read more.

Conclusion

White eyes give an image of death to the reader. He also describes his face as 'a devil's sick of sin', which makes the reader think of death and evil. In the next line Owen speaks to the reader again while still describing the dead soldier. 'The blood come gargling from his froth-corrupted lungs' is used to shock the reader. 'Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud' uses very strong words. Cancer is a very common illness and by using it to describe death in war makes dieing at war seem common and something very real that effects lots of people. The line that follows 'incurable sores on innocent tongues' shows the men are young and innocent making the reader show sympathy for the soldiers. Owen also describes the soldiers as 'children'. The line that follows speaks directly to the reader for the third time addressing them as 'my friend', which suggests signs of sarcasm. The poem ends which the line 'the old lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patriamori' which is Latin for how sweet it is to die for your country. Owen wrote the last line in Latin to target the Catholic Church who were encouraging men to go to war. The Catholic Church often wrote in Latin so Owen wrote what he calls 'the old lie' in Latin to contour what the Catholic Church had said. Both poems describe the experience of war in very different ways. The reason for this is that different people wrote them for different reasons and audiences. Josh Lees - 10M1 ...read more.

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