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Pre 1914 Poetry Comparison: Alfred Lord Tennyson,'The Charge Of The Light Brigade', and Wilfred Owen, 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'.

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Introduction

GCSE English Writing Coursework Pre 1914 Poetry Comparison: Alfred Lord Tennyson, 'The Charge Of The Light Brigade', and Wilfred Owen, 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' By Tim Flatley 1) The Charge Of The Light Brigade Tennyson was prompted to write this poem after reading an article in the Times newspaper about the charge of the Light Brigade. Tennyson's main motive for writing this poem seems to be to celebrate the bravery of the troops. Tennyson appears to be a patriot. He concentrates on the brave way the soldiers went into near certain death and only makes one mention of the complete cock-up made by the generals. Rather than concentrate on the mistakes made he sticks with celebrating what the soldiers did 'When can their glory fade?' he asks. The use of the rhetorical is almost challenging you to disagree with his opinion of the soldiers' bravery. Tennyson uses a lot of things like onomatopoeia, repetition and alliteration. He uses repetition to try and show, in words, the confusion of the battle. An example of this is 'Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them'. ...read more.

Middle

I can't help feeling that the soldiers, while very brave, were rather foolish to unquestioningly obey their orders. However whilst saying that it must be taken into account that people's thoughts and feelings about war are far different now than they were then. People back then didn't question whether it was right to go to war; it was always right to go to war. 2) Dulce Et Decorum Est Dulce Et Decorum Est almost definitely written from first hand experience. Wilfred Owen was a soldier, and he defined himself as both a patriot and a pacifist. This poem is the product of the conflict of these feelings inside him. Wilfred Owen wants to show people through his poetry the very real horrors of war and dispel feelings in people that he perhaps once had. This seems to be in direct opposition of the opinion of Tennyson, who, while a worthy poet, had little or no first hand experience of battle. Tennyson concentrates on the heroism and the glory of war whereas Owen highlights the horror and atrocities, trying to get people back home in Britain to think again, to revise their opinions of war. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is one particularly affecting piece of imagery used in Dulce Et Decorum Est. At one point in the poem the company is gassed and one of the men is choking, seemingly drowning in the mustard gas. This appears to have been something Owen himself saw. 'In all my dreams before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.' By comparison the worst imagery used by Tennyson, the 'jaws of death' seems pretty tame. My response to this poem is very different to my response to The Charge Of The Light Brigade. Dulce Et Decorum Est is a powerful poem. It is the kind of poem that makes you want to go out and take part in an anti-war rally. The two poems seem to reflect the attitudes of the two eras. In the time of Crimean War few questioned whether it was right to go to war, whereas World War One was the first war where people really started to question the old beliefs. In an argument between Owen and Tennyson I would most definitely be on the side of Owen. He is the most qualified to write about war, having experienced for himself, as opposed to sitting on his backside at home reading about a battle in a newspaper. The End ...read more.

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