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Explore the portrayal of war in Lord Byron's 'The Destruction of Sennacherib', Alfred Tennyson's 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce Et Decorum Est.'

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Introduction

Explore the portrayal of war in Lord Byron's 'The Destruction of Sennacherib', Alfred Tennyson's 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce Et Decorum Est.' The three poems discuss aspects of war however each shows a different portrayals of war as the poets are writing in different time periods. Lord Byron structured his poem using secondary evidence which was from the bible; he made war out to e romantic idyllic and wonderful. He also celebrates the power and strength of God. However Wilfred Owen's outlook on war came from his experiences, he told it at the worst case scenario and sent out messages in his poems. Tennyson based his poem on a newspaper article about the Crimean War; it is a Pre 1914 poem like Lord Byron's. Lord Byron wrote The Destruction of Sennacherib. His sources are secondary as they came from the bible (2nd book of Chronicles Chapter 32). The poem is based on the power of God. King Sennacherib of Assyria believed he could destroy Judea and King Hezekiah. Sennacherib told Jerusalem (a city in Judea) that there faithfulness to one God would not save them. In their hour of need they prayed to their God, and he sent an angle that killed Sennacherib and his army. The first verse describes Sennacherib's army with a powerful simile 'like wolf on the fold' this defines the army as the 'wolf': strong and dominant, choosing parts of the 'fold' (sheep) ...read more.

Middle

He uses direct address again 'you' to plea to the reader. Moreover alliteration is used 'watch the whit eyes writhing' to high light the suffering of the dying man and the realities of war. He then goes on to talk about the age of many soldiers 'innocent tongues' which shows the younger soldiers don't know what war is like, and to finish the point of young soldiers he uses 'children' to show some are only just in their teens. There is a subtle message in this verse to Jesse Pope and all the other poets who say war is fun and wonderful; by using 'My friend' everyone knows who he is sending this message to but he does in indirectly and slightly sarcastic. The last two lines of the poem sum the hole thing up and leave his message in your mind 'Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori' which translates to 'it is sweet and honourable to die for your country is a lie' so although he starts sarcastically he makes sure the reader does fully understand the point of the poem. Wilfred Owens view of war is that it is not glorious or wonderful and he is sick of the young 'children' dying because they don't know what it is like because of other poets over stating it. His poems are clever as he uses sarcasm to put his point across to the reader. ...read more.

Conclusion

Each poem discusses the different aspects of war. They only show certain parts of huge events. All the poems show the extremes war; good; 'the charge of the light brigade' and 'the Destruction of Sennacherib' bad; 'Dulce Et Decorum Est.'. The poems all show different emotions 'Dulce Et Decorum Est.' shows anger and concern this comes across with the over use of punctuation. 'The Destruction of Sennacherib' shows the emotions of love, trust and amazement these come across in the choice of vocabulary, colours and the rhythm. 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' shows us the honour and bravery of soldier at war these come from the choice of techniques used i.e. alliteration and onomatopoeia. All the poems showed me different emotions mainly that of sorrow as men died doing what they thought was right 'Dulce Et Decorum Est.' truly shocked me the most it caught my attention as a well structured and meaningful poem it showed the horrors of war and put its point across very effectively. 'The Destruction of Sennacherib' made me feel quiet happy it flowed along easily however I forgot it quite quickly and I didn't really understand how it portrayed war as the poem celebrates the power of god. Finally 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' this was my favourite it kept me interested with the use of all different techniques and the changing of argument. It made me form my own conclusion that it was honourable to be a soldier. It helped me see the bravery of these men and the patriotic side of there views (dying for their country). By Jenna Read ...read more.

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