• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Personal response to "Dolce et Decorum Est", "Disabled" and "The Charge of the Light Brigade", comparing and contrasting the three poems

Extracts from this document...


A personal response to "Dolce et Decorum Est", "Disabled" and "The Charge of the Light Brigade", comparing and contrasting the three poems War poems mainly tend to reflect on the futility of war, the pointlessness of it. They tend to be written about the poor men having to endure these battles, mainly in the two world wars during the twentieth century. Two war poets are Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918) and Alfred Tennyson (1809 - 1892). I have chosen to compare and contrast three poems which these two poets have written between them. "Dulce et Decorum Est" - Wilfred Owen This poem was written by Wilfred Owen, who was a soldier in the First World War. He therefore gives a very vivid account of what it was like to be there, as he has had first- hand experience. The title of the poem means "it is sweet and honourable" and the phrase is continued at the end of the poem..."to die for your country". Just before this is stated at the end of the poem, Wilfred Owen chooses to write "The Old Lie". This tells us he does not believe this statement to be true. Calling the poem by this name is very ironic, as the poem is filled with horrible stories about what really happened, and so Wilfred Owen is saying how can all of this suffering be sweet and proper? The irony begins in the first line, where the soldiers are compared in a simile to old beggars. This implies that they look shabby, which is not the image of soldiers in bright shiny uniforms, which would be in keeping with the glorious image of war. The line has a slow pace with no sound described, which is also a contrast to the image of war, as people at home might expect the soldiers to be marching along at a brisk pace. ...read more.


From it we can see that the plan was a big failure, as the commands set by the chief officer were unplanned and the soldiers did not have the right to question their orders. The first verse sets out the scene for the reader. It describes the leagues of horseback soldiers preparing for battle, as they charge forward. A "league" is a measure of distance, and it means three miles. The line "All in the valley of Death" personifies death. The mood becomes more dramatic from line 5, with a line that brings us the readers closer to the action; "Forward, the Light Brigade!" This line and the quote "Charge for the guns!" are probably real orders set by the officers to these men, who we find out in the next verse that they didn't approve their commands. The phrase "Rode the six hundred" is a repetition as it is repeated throughout the poem. This is effective as it keeps the reader informed of the large number of men who later perished in the battle. The first four lines of the following verse tells us that these soldiers couldn't, and didn't, question their orders. "Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew". This is followed by three famous lines, as it says of the helplessness these soldiers had when they were set a task to carry out. The first line in line five, "their's not to make reply", tells us that the soldiers did not question the commands set by their chiefs. "Their's not to reason why; their's not but to do and die" tells us that there was no point in the soldiers arguing, as their job was to carry out the operation and probably die. These lines more or less summarises a soldier's duties during war. Again in this verse, the phrases "into the valley of Death" and "rode the six hundred" are repeated. ...read more.


The fact that this man, who was a popular man before the war, became so helpless and disfigured due to war makes us aware of the effects war had on some people. I think that "The Charge of the Light Brigade", written by Alfred Tennyson, is the more of a personal opinion by Tennyson rather than a war poem. Yes, it is based on the Crimean War, but the image he sets out is fairly blunt, and I think his main aim in writing this poem was for him to express his thoughts on the "noble" Light Brigade. I feel that Tennyson's description of the war is quite basic compared to the one in "Dulce et Decorum Est". Mainly, this will be because Owen writes in the first person and actually experienced war. However, nonetheless Tennyson's use of repetition throughout the poem is very effective as it keeps the reader aware of the large numbers of men who took part in the charge of the Light Brigade. With the line "rode the six hundred" in mind, it is easy to fall into Tennyson's trap of honouring them as we are not made to forget them throughout the poem. In the last verse, or the epitaph, the poet asks "when can their glory fade?" This is a rhetorical question, which means that it requires no immediate answer. This is used cleverly so the reader is made to think about the Light Brigade in their minds. Overall, what these three poems have in common is that they all show the pointlessness of war, and that the world has to realise to the fact that there are other ways in order to settle arguments, not involving the killing of many soldiers fighting for their country. I think what Tennyson says is correct, and we should honour those who die in war. Both these poets agree to the fact that war is futile, but they each have their say on the matter of dying in it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    'Who for the Game' By Jesse Pope, 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' By Wilfred Owen, ...

    4 star(s)

    People with all their body. His final thoughts of the poem are one of total depression. He thinks that life is pointless. He is so helpless he can't go to bed without someone there to help him. He feels as though he only has a few years left.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Analysing Wilfred Owens' Poem Disabled.

    4 star(s)

    Tennyson creates a feeling of exhilaration, of the nobility of warfare with his use of poetic devices, such as rhetorical repetition: 'Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them�, and alliteration: 'Stormed at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell� Tennyson

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Choose 3 poems by Wilfred Owen that look at different aspects of war. Compare ...

    4 star(s)

    This is clearly outlined in the preface where he says, "Above all I am not concerned with Poetry. My subject is War and the pity of war". He noticeably is writing about war, against war and for the men he fought with.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Alfred Tennyson and Wilfred Owen present different ideas about war in their poems, "The ...

    3 star(s)

    Tennyson draws attention to the fact that The Battle of Balaclava was one of the biggest military blunders ever made in his poem by writing "Into the jaws of death, into the mouth of hell" showing that to send the Light Brigade into battle was wrong and that hardly any of them would return.

  1. Peer reviewed

    "With Specific focus on Wilfred Owen poems Disabled, Mental cases, Dulce et Decorum est, ...

    4 star(s)

    frustration at the beginning rather than the end, which sets the tone for the rest of the poem. Again, the use of a rhetorical question appears in The Send-off. "Shall they return to beatings of great bells In wild trainloads?"

  2. Compare 'Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Dulce et Decorum est' considering each poets ...

    However, words such as 'jaws' and 'mouth' would suggest that war, as a whole, could be seen as a metaphorical monster, and that by entering the battle, the soldiers were riding into the mouth of the monster. This emphasizes to the reader that war consumes lives and that the soldiers may have entered war, but they never left.

  1. How effectively do Asquith's poem, 'The Volunteer,' and the extract from Shakespeare's 'Henry V' ...

    He also pronounces to the brave soldiers that they will undoubtedly become famous. '..Our names... familiar...as household words..' stating that the names of those who fought will be as famous as '..Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot..'

  2. In the wars, Robert Rose is a very significant character.

    There are many instances in the novel where both Robert and his father feel that they have lost touch with each other, but they always regain their contact. In war, it is often the letters and love from family and friends that keeps the soldier going.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work