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

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.

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. Compare 'Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Dulce et Decorum est' considering each poets ...

    Tennyson uses words such as 'volleyed', 'shattered' and 'thundered' when describing the sounds surrounding the soldiers. This writing technique allows the reader to be submerged into the action, creating an almost three-dimensional atmosphere within the reader's imagination. This therefore allows the reader to fully experience the horror of war, perhaps

  2. Explore the portrayal of war in Lord Byron's 'The Destruction of Sennacherib', Alfred Tennyson's ...

    Then a change in the argument turns the reader's attention from the bravery of the soldiers to the stupidity of 'some one' who 'had blundered' this is a very strong line as it makes the reader want to tell the soldiers.

  1. Compare Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum est' and Lord Alfred Tennyson's 'The Charge of ...

    shows they are been ordered in a positive way, but in 'Dulce et decorum est' The exclamations are used because the soldiers are shouting in fear 'GAS! Gas!' shows they are scared. The soldier's become visually surrounded in stanza 3 and Tennyson emphasises the odds against them' Cannon to right

  2. Based on the Poem "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen.

    It is this attention to form and imagery that makes the poem effective. "Dulce Et Decorum Est" is a reactionary poem. Owen reacts to a horrible war and to the Lie being told about war. He shows us his reaction through the changes he makes to poetic form illustrating the

  1. Dulce Et Decorum Est - review.

    we might understand the pain, the sadness, the guilt he is feeling. "The Wagon" in stanza 4 is an interesting part of Owens poem it has many interpretations my own being that it is a total opposition to Tennyson's glorification of the soldiers, Tennyson's poem has the soldiers epitomised in

  2. "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Tennyson - War Poetry

    The man is giving up the fight, onomatopoeic of the desperate fight for air under a sea. The 'sea' in this situation is actually a cloud of green gas, but the effect is the same; suffocation and frantic snatching for help.

  1. Compare and contrast the poets' presentation of war in 'The Charge of the Light ...

    Decorum est" the status of the soldiers is lowered by the quote ' bent double like old beggars' which illustrates the poets different attitudes to war, Tennyson's thought of war as a brave thing to do and Owens belief that it is not.

  2. Compare and contrast the poets' attitudes to war in 'The Charge of the Light ...

    The last line in stanzas one, two and three says 'rode the six hundred.' But in the fourth stanza (turning point) it says in the last line 'not the six hundred.' in stanza five it says in the last line 'left of the six hundred.'

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