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

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Introduction

Explore the portrayal of war in Lord Byron's 'The Destruction of Sennacherib', Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and Tennyson's 'The Charge of The Light Brigade'. We have studied three poems on the subject of different views of war. 'The Destruction of Sennacherib' and 'The Charge of the Light brigade' were written pre 1914 whereas 'Dulce Et Decorum Est was written post 1914'. Dulce et decorum est, was written by Wilfred Owen, and is meant to portray the harshness of the first world war. This was mainly to combat writers such as Jesse Pope, who portrayed the war as "a game". Lord Byron's the destruction of Sennacherib, was written pre 1914, and he used secondary evidence (2nd book of chronicles chapter 32 in the Old Testament) to structure his poem. Most of his poems were based on religious stories however, it is strange that he should do this, when he lived the kind of lifestyle that he did. Tennyson also based his poem on secondary evidence - a newspaper article. He shows war to be heroic and that it is patriotic to die for your country. Lord Byron's poem was published. The Destruction of Sennacherib in 1815. The poem is written about a story in the bible describing how the King of Assyria (Sennacherib) ...read more.

Middle

The fifth verse is about the British retreat. They are still surrounded by Russian cannons and as they draw back, they are being shot at all the time. He now uses the same metaphors and personification he used earlier for example "mouth of hell" and "jaws of death". This has the effect of drawing the battle to a close because they are leaving. The final verse is about honouring the light brigade. He starts the stanza with a rhetorical question, "when can their glory fade?" this is to make the reader consider the brave men that died during the battle. Throughout the whole poem, the line "rode the six hundred" is repeated. This creates a strong effect in the last two stanzas because of all the soldiers that died. In conclusion, I think it is clear that Tennyson believes war to be a glorious and noble thing. This is represented repeatedly in lines like "Honour the charge they made" and "noble six hundred". I think Tennyson is quite effective at getting his point of view across and he uses some very emotive lines such as "o the wild charge they made" and "honour the charge they made". Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et decorum est" was written post 1914. Owen uses his traumatic experiences to portray the horrible truth of war. ...read more.

Conclusion

Other words which indicate pain, and create terrible images are "cursed", "haunting", "fatigue", "deaf", "clumsy", "yelling", "helpless", "plunges" and "gargling". These words are neither majestic nor enthusiastic but shockingly realistic. Each poem portrays a different opinion or aspect of war. Writers without experience of the harshness of war tend to take war lightly, whereas Wilfred Owen shows that it is nothing like a game. Unlike "Dulce Et Decorum Est.", "The Charge of the Light Brigade" does not show the effects of war on people. This could be because Lord Tennyson was not in the Crimean war, and because describing the terrible effects of war on people would interfere with the heroic, noble atmosphere he is trying to create. Wilfred Owen's works shows the effects on him up to his death in 1917, relating to his experiences in the First World War. He condemns war and writes a small poem aside from his personal encounters. The poem reads: "in all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, chocking and drowning." I think this creates powerful, terrible images. It describes his nightmares of people being gassed, using three of the most shocking and revolting sounding words in the poem. For me, showing the horrendous and distressing effects on ordinary people is an incredible way of expressing his opinions, and trying to persuade people not to go to war, as it is a very powerful emotional appeal. By Nick thorogood ...read more.

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