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Explore the attitude to war demonstrated in ''The Charge of the Light Brigade'' By Alfred Lord Tennyson and ''Dulce et Decorum Est'' by Wilfred Owen.

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Introduction

Explore the attitude to war demonstrated in ''The Charge of the Light Brigade'' By Alfred Lord Tennyson and ''Dulce et Decorum Est'' by Wilfred Owen 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' are about battle and soldiers; they portray the experience of war in different ways. Both poems employ visual imagery of battle and the effects on the people. 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' is more about the actions of the whole brigade whereas, 'Dulce et Decorum Est' is focused on the effects of war on individuals. In his poem, Wilfred Owen describes the men as individuals, rather than as 'the army' or 'they'. He describes them as lonely: 'Old beggars under sacks' is used to show just how different they are from what we would expect. The impression of isolation is most obvious in the gas attack where one man is left helpless to the gas while the others can do nothing, only watch and wait, and fling him into the 'wagon'. The man was not dying heroically, just horrifically and powerless to save himself. Tennyson, however, only ever wrote of the soldiers as 'the six hundred' or 'they' or 'the light brigade'. Each stanza ends with 'six hundred'; even when so few are left alive, which makes the reader only think of their bravery and their dedication. I think this difference between the two authors' styles is because of the fact that Owen was fighting at the time, and experiencing the war first hand, whereas Tennyson's only view of war was what he read in newspapers and what he was told. ...read more.

Middle

With cannons to the left, right and in front of them, whereas in verse five they had turned around to go back because all that was past the gunners was a lot more Russians. The use of repetition in the word 'cannon' is used to emphasise that the soldiers are surrounded by cannons. Therefore in stanza five the cannons are to the left, right and behind them. There is a lot of evidence that Tennyson says the men were heroes like, 'Honour the Light Brigade', 'Noble six hundred', 'While horse and hero fell' 'Dulce et Decorum Est', by Wilfred Owen, was a form of moral propaganda. Wilfred Owen's purpose in writing it was to convince the British public that they had been lied to. He knew from first hand experience the terror, pain and horror of war, this made him feel disgusted and enraged at how different war was to the impression that men signing up to fight were given. The poem tells us about soldiers returning from the front line until they are hit by a gas attack and one man is left helpless when he fails to get his helmet on in time. There are sudden mood changes that occur throughout the poem. The most effective is from the first stanza to the second stanza. In the first stanza the soldiers are slowly walking along, tired, and hurt. In the second stanza, a sudden gas attack occurs and action begins to take place. ...read more.

Conclusion

The blood is described to have 'come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs'. This can be disturbing to think about. The phrase 'vile, incurable sores' is a metaphor that illustrates how the soldiers, even in time to come will never be able to forget their experience fighting in the war. Owen portrays the soldiers as being 'innocent', to show that they were young. They were willing listeners and believed everything that they were told including the old lie: Dulce et Decorum Est, pro patria mori. The final two lines 'Dulce et Decorum Est, pro patria mori' is a famous quote by a Latin poet called Horace. This translates into 'It is sweet and honourable to die for one's country'. Owen contradicts this quote using this poem throughout the use of many poetic techniques. In all Wilfred Owen is trying to show that there is nothing good about war. This poem is very effective as an anti-war poem. His main point is the old saying: 'Dulce et Decorum Est, pro patria mori' is a lie and the last word used is death. Even though it may be honourable to die for your country, it is not sweet and never will be. My conclusion is that, although I preferred reading 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', 'Dulce et Decorum Est' taught me the most about war and conflict. Owen had fought and suffered and witnessed death first hand, whereas Tennyson had never been in a war situation, and was inclined to believe the pro-war propaganda. His poem has none of the vividly horrific descriptions that there are of the dying man in Owen's poem, and instead talks of nobility, duty, and honour. ...read more.

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