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To what extent does form influence attitude? Compare Tennyson's The Charge of the Light Brigade with Sassoon's Prelude: the Troops and examine how the poets' attitude to war is conveyed through their choice of poetic for...

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Introduction

Remember to put the cursor on the asterisk to get the Examiner's advice. To what extent does form influence attitude? Compare Tennyson's 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' with Sassoon's 'Prelude: the Troops' and examine how the poets' attitude to war is conveyed through their choice of poetic form. The way a poet decides to use form when they are getting across their message is very important. These two poems are written very differently. Tennyson's poem has very strong rhythms and very strong rhymes that create a fluent effect. Sassoon's poem has longer lines but does not rhyme and comes across as being more serious. *[Ea1] The poets are writing in two different eras and this may account for the different ways in which they write and their different attitudes towards war. Tennyson is far more upbeat*[Ea2] in tone than Sassoon. Tennyson's 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' tells the story of six hundred cavalry troops who run into a trap and are almost all killed by the enemy's cannons. ...read more.

Middle

At the end of the poem, Tennyson uses words such as 'glory', 'honour' and 'noble'. The choice of language is part of the form. Tennyson's attitude is that these men deserve praise for their brave actions. He feels that it was worth the sacrifice. The tone of the poem makes the story into an action hero type story with a more serious tone of reflection and praise at the end. The choice of form was very important in getting this across. *[Ea5] Sassoon's poem is far more pessimistic and dark. *[Ea6] The major reason for that is that the words he has chosen are far more dismal and sad. The sound of the poem is important. He uses alliteration a lot in phrases like 'haggard and hopeless' to get across how bad the men are feeling. Another good example is 'stamp their sodden boots' which gets across the poor condition of their uniform. ...read more.

Conclusion

*[Ea8] I think the two poems are both praising the soldiers involved but the tone is very different and that is because they have chosen to write in different ways. Tennyson's poem has a stronger rhythm and sounds more upbeat. He is more full of praise for the glories of war. It is very different in Sassoon's poem which is far more negative about war, although like Tennyson he does appreciate the bravery of the soldiers.*[Ea9] [Ea1]Good awareness of form shaping effect. [Ea2]This word is a bit vague - it needs more precise expression. [Ea3]Good, technical vocabulary. [Ea4]This word is again rather vague. [Ea5]Good argument, although the expression is a bit stilted. Points do come across. [Ea6]Good judgement on tone. [Ea7]Good analysis that is thorough but could go further in assessing the effect of the devices used. [Ea8]Good analysis of imagery. [Ea9]A good conclusion that draws a line under well-developed arguments. There is a good level of detail but there is an unwillingness to grapple with interpretations. ...read more.

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