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Having Studied War Poetry From The 19th And 20th Centuries, Discuss The Various View Of War As Expressed Be Some Famous Poets.

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Introduction

Having Studied War Poetry From The 19th And 20th Centuries, Discuss The Various View Of War As Expressed Be Some Famous Poets. The attitudes of poets towards war have always been expressed vigorously in their poetry, each poet either condoning or condemning war, and justifying their attitudes in whatever way possible. These two poems describe war, and scenes of war from different viewpoints. Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade was written during the Crimean War. It is about a military blunder where 600 men were sent directly into gunfire. Lord Tennyson at the time of the Crimean War was in England and did not witness any fighting. "Dulce et Decorum est" however was written during the First World War, by Wilfred Owen. Owen was a soldier and writes from first hand experience, this makes his poetry more reliable and realistic. Owen spent months in disgusting conditions in the trenches near the front line, as shown by the way the solders were "coughing like hags". He really wants to show clearly the realities of conflict, behind the heroism and splendour, and the vivid language and the imagery he uses show this, he has a very unromantic view of war. However Lord Tennyson shows a totally view of war. It could be said that Tennyson is trying to underestimate the death of so many men. ...read more.

Middle

In the second verse, colour is used to make the scene more stunning, and also more exciting. The "green sea" is referring to the green colour of the chlorine gas. The third verse begins by describing a soldier who has been gassed. The soldiers "hanging face" that Owen compares to a "devils sick of sin" is suggesting that the pain and agony that the soldier went through was unimaginable. So great that even the devil the source of evil and pain is sick of it. This is horrifying that someone could go through such pain but yet still be alive. Owen also goes on to use single word to shock his readers, and to convey his feelings. He uses powerful and sickening word to represent the soldier who has been gassed. "He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning". These words are very disgusting. They sound like someone trying to breathe, but choking. When Owen is describing the effects of war in him, he writes "if in some smothering dream". This implies that there is no way out of the terrible situation and the appalling conditions and that it affects every aspect of soldier's lives in the trenches. In the last verse it states "We flung him in," I believe that this means that once dead solders had little or no respect and that there were so many dead that they had to use wagons to carry the deceased away. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tennyson feels that the charge of the Light brigade was not stupid but brave and noble. We can clearly see his glorious view of war epitomised here. The closing lines of "Dulce et Decorum est" "my friend, you would not tell with such zest to children ardent for some desperate glory, the old lie Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori". Owen is criticising the people that wrote of war in terms of nobility and glory. Owen indicates that it is not glorious to die for your country, but reckless and irrational. Owen goes further to say that the writers of glorious war poems have even lied to the young people, and sent them to the front line to die in their millions. He himself could have been one of those poets that pushed the young men into joining the arm as he wrote "The Ballad of Peace and War" in this poem he writes "But sweeter still and far more meet, To die in war for brothers..." this contrasts strongly to his poems written at the front. Maybe he had to realise himself that war was not glorious, as he had once thought. In my opinion the "Charge of the Light Brigade" does not have as much impact as "Dulce et Decorum est". Although the pace of the "Charge of the Light Brigade is magnificent "Dulce et Decorum est" is more realistic and more creditable as Wilfred Owen actually fought in war and knew what it felt like. ...read more.

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