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Of The Two Poems You Have Studied Which do You Find The Most Realistic?

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English Coursework: Of The Two Poems You Have Studied Which do You Find The Most Realistic? I was asked to write a comparison of two poems deciphering which was more realistic. The following is my contribution. In the following essay I will be comparing two poems on war. Of the poems I have studied, I have chosen, "The Charge of the Light Brigade" written by Alfred Lord Tennyson in the 1800's, and "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen, written after the first World War in 1914. Both poems deal with the theme of war. I shall discuss each poem and how it presents war in terms of style and form. By the end of the essay I will have formed an opinion on which poem I find the most realistic and why. "The Charge of the Light Brigade" is the account of a battle between a regiment of the British Army and the Russian Force in the Crimean war. It is set in 1854 when a British commander mistakenly gave the order for a lightly armed cavalry (the Light Brigade) to attack a heavily armed Russian regiment in South Balaclava. Of the six hundred who battled less than two hundred survived. ...read more.


The rhythm then slows dramatically, "Then they rode back, but not the six hundred". This shows that there were casualties and deaths in the battle but gives us a vague number of losses. The poet however does not tell us if the brigade won or lost as to keep the theme of heroism and patriotism in the poem to the end. "Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them, Volley'd and thundered; Storm'd at with shot and shell", a repeat of the first five lines of stanza three the only difference being line three, "Cannon behind them". This is to indicate that the battle is over. In line six the soldiers are referred to as heroes, "While horse and hero fell," giving the audience a sense that the soldiers are no ordinary men anymore. It is also a clever way of covering the fact a lot of soldiers died. The poet shows the soldiers got through the struggle with the lines, "Came thro' the jaws of Death, Back from the mouth of Hell". The final stanza begins with another rhetorical, patriotic question, "When will their glory fade?" He is of course telling us their glory will never fade but by putting this fact in a question form, it gives it more emphasis. ...read more.


This is an unusual statement. How can some figure like the devil be sick of what he epitomizes? This is how gruesome the corpse looks. Owen then turns his focus to the propagandists. He describes the suffering of the innocent soldiers as, "Incurable sores on innocent tongues". He then lets the propagandists know that they would print posters telling young men hungry for war that it is good and honourable to die for their country if they saw the what he had experienced with the conclusion of, "My friend you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory The old lie, Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." The theme of was has always been controversial and arguments for and against have been well documented, often in the form of poetry. Many Poets have written war as glorious battle while others show a more dark side to it. While Tennyson's talks of honour and heroism, Owen tells us not to be fooled and gives us the gory details of war. Owen had experienced it and sadly, soon after the poem was written, died from war. He had felt the effects first hand while Tennyson had read about it in a newspaper. It is obvious that Owen's tragic tale is the more realistic as it was a primary source and because of the great detail he went into. James A. Murphy 11E 1 1 ...read more.

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