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"Dulce et Decorum est" (written by Wilfred Owen) and "the Charge of the Light Brigade" (written by Alfred Tennyson).

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Introduction

Comparative War Poetry Essay In this essay, I am going to talk about two poems, "Dulce et Decorum est" (written by Wilfred Owen) and "the Charge of the Light Brigade" (written by Alfred Tennyson). The two poems share many similarities. The main similarity is that they are both based on war and both attempt to convey the point that war is futile and being a part of it is not being courageous, but being foolish. "Dulce et Decorum est" was written by Wilfred Owen in response to war enthusiasts such as Jesse Pope, who were attempting to project the image of war being a heroic thing to participate in. Wilfred Owen based this poem on his real-life experiences with war. Owen knew that war was nowhere near as positive as a lot of people were trying to project to the public, so his message was that war has a lot of negative effects as well. Jesse Pope's poems were propaganda. The content of "Dulce et Decorum est" is based on the unpleasant experiences shared by the soldiers who fought for the United Kingdom in the trenches during the first World War. Soldiers had to eat, sleep and fight in these trenches for long periods of time. ...read more.

Middle

The author of the poem is attempting to draw on our own experiences by using circumstances that we have probably experienced. Lots of us have almost drowned, so using the word "drowning" allows us to relate to what the man is feeling. We can almost imagine what the man was feeling by this excellent piece of descriptive writing. We can see in our minds the man coughing up froth just by reading the line "Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,". Wilfred Owen makes use of some unusual lexical choices. The word "Blood-shod" is an example of this. Blood-shod is not an official English word as it cannot be found in an English Dictionary, but Owen has taken the words blood-shed and blood-shot and combined them to make a word. Blood-shed due to the fighting that was taking place and blood-shot because the soldiers were so tired that their eyes were most likely blood-shot. I understand that they were tired, because Owen used the line, "Drunk with fatigue" which means that the soldiers were so tired that they appeared to be drunk, even though they were not. Alliteration plays a part in this poem, too. The line "And watch the white eyes writhing in his face" allows good description while using alliteration, which makes a line stand out if used correctly. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Their's not to make reply, Their's not to reason why, Their's but to do and die" means that they had their duties to do and they were not in a position to ask if it were a wise thing to do. All they could do was do as they were told and die. They were treated in the sort of way a robot or puppet would be treated. Much like Owen, Tennyson uses a little alliteration. "Stormed at with shot and shell" has lots of use of words beginning with the letter "s". This line is also onomatopoeic, because the men didn't literally storm to the Russians, but the effect is there. The line, "While horse and hero fell," is another example of alliteration, with the letter "h" being used twice. This line also gives the man and his horse equal importance, when the man would be considered more important in real-life. He is, in a way, de-humanised, because he is being compared with an animal, not human. Although I personally enjoyed the Charge of the Light Brigade more because of its fast rhythm, I believe that Dulce et Decorum est was the mor effective poem because it had more description and allowed you to relate to the poet's feelings and the soldier who died's feelings more effectively. It also concentrated on one man more, so we got more emotionally involved. ...read more.

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