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How have Tennyson and Owen shown their attitudes to war in the poems ' Charge of the Light Brigades' and 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'?

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Introduction

How have Tennyson and Owen shown their attitudes to war in the poems ' Charge of the Light Brigades' and 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'? >>>> Essay Poets have been writing about the topic of war for centuries. 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. In this essay Dulce Et Decorum Est and the Charge of the Light Brigades will be discussed these are examples of two different war poems that portray the experience of war in two very different ways. Dulce Et Decorum Est is set during the First World War and Charge of the Light Brigades is set during the Crimean war. These two poems describe war, and scenes from war, with varying levels of intensity and reality and also from different viewpoints. By exploring the portrayal of war from both these poems in detail, the differences will be exposed. Each poet has a different view on war but they all focus on the major issues, such as, the death, the suffering, the bravery and the honour. The charge of the light brigades, set in the 1850s, was written by Alfred Lord Tennyson and tells us the story of a mistaken command, which led to the needless slaughter of over 600 men, Tennysons poem celebrates the glory of war, despite the fact that, because of an error of judgement 600 soldiers were sent to their deaths. ...read more.

Middle

Wilfred Owen in many ways typifies the war poet, before the war he had lived a rather sheltered existence working as a private tutor and assistant to a country vicar. Wilfred Owens poetry, which he wrote before war, was full of description and about very little. The war transformed his poetry, giving it a new power. Owen wrote Dulce et Decorum Est in the 1950s. Owen is probably the most well known of war poets as he fought and died in the war so he was writing from experience. Dulce et decorum Est was set during the First World War. This war was fought on many fronts; this poem focuses on the trenches. There was artillery firing for 48 hours at times. They used machine guns, gas attacks and air strikes. This war was far more advanced then the Charge of the Light Brigades. Wilfred Owen in his poem is asking us to question all the certainties that Tennyson is celebrating. The theme of Dulce et decorum Est is that dying for ones country is not at all glorious. This message is echoed throughout the poem from the first line to the last. The attitudes towards war at this time were much more realistic than those in the other poem. There were graphic descriptions: '...Limped on blood-shod... froth corrupted lungs...' As Owen was actually at war he had first hand experience and much more emotion was involved. ...read more.

Conclusion

That whole paragraph goes directly against this line from the Charge of the Light Brigade- '...Honour the charge they made...honour the light brigade...' Wilfred Owen is trying to get the message across that war is horrific and him being there he would know best. The poems are similar in that they both rhyme, but they are different because Owen's poem has regular and Tennyson's has irregular. Another difference is rhythm. In Dulce Et Decorum Est a rhythm is hard to detect, possibly slow (men trudging) then speeding up (gas, gas). But in The Charge Of The Light Brigade there is a regular rhythm (horses galloping). In both poems the commands are spoken by a person - gas, gas quick boys and Forward the light brigade. One other similarity is that they both compare war to other things (simile) - mouth of hell and Devil sick of sin. Dulce et Decorum est was a very enjoyable poem compared to charge of the light brigades, it was realistic and showed what really happened in war whereas charge of the light brigades showed was as being glorious and a good thing to go through with. There was lots of descriptive language. Strong metaphors, similes and descriptive language gave it realism. Wilfred Owen was successful at showing the true realities of war probably because he was there and had experienced what it was like. SADIA RAHMAN 10S ENGLISH MS WYNNE ...read more.

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