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War, as a theme for poetry, Has reflected changing attitudes over the centuries - With reference to 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'Charge of the Light Brigade' Discuss these changing attitudes.

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Introduction

War, as a theme for poetry, Has reflected changing attitudes over the centuries. With reference to 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'Charge of the Light Brigade' Discuss these changing attitudes. In this essay we must analyse and assess these two poets contrasting representations of the theme of war and the source from which they came. First we must research and discuss the historical background of the two poets. "The charge of the light brigade" by Alfred Lord Tennyson is a poem describing the account of British soldiers and their humiliating defeat at the hands of the Russians and all that it entailed. "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen describes the horror of existing inside a world war one trench. It gives a first hand account of how he watched his compatriots die alongside him in the struggle to defend against the German army. "Half a league, Half a league onward" This quote dictates a rhythmic marching tempo for the poem. This also is a good example of alliteration as it is a series of words with repeated sounds. "All in the valley of death rode the six hundred" This gives us a first harsh and unexpected sign of their impending doom. ...read more.

Middle

propaganda to make the young British males think that this great praise is a thing that by which they can attain through becoming a soldier. "Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!" Tennyson acts as a commander to the young audience ordering them to honour the young men that took part in the event just as they honoured their commander's own wishes to charge into battle. This is an attempt to grip his audience and make them feel certain patriotism and inspire them into following the light brigade's example. We can conclude from this that the battle was a futile attempt by the British Empire to regain some of their diminishing control on the world. Wilfred was a young poet who was manipulated by recruitment drives and patriotic poets such as Alfred Lord Tennyson into joining the British army. Owen attacks the sentimental, bogus patriotism of stay at home war enthusiasts. He, a witness describes the full horror that occurred during world war one inside the trenches. "Bent double like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge," We can already see the toll that war is taking on these men. ...read more.

Conclusion

If we look at these two poems, "The Charge of The Light Brigade" and "Dulce et Decorum est." we see that they are completely juxtaposed, Alfred Lord Tennyson had a motive, to create a manipulative recruitment drive to entice the young British male into joining a futile war effort. He uses hyperbole to try and capture the nation's imagination in a deluded to attempt to make them believe that the Empire could be restored to its former glory. Wilfred Owen however sets out to create a warning to anybody who is enchanted by notions of war and patriotic glory. He uses real life experiences to justify this, and sets about deposing the views of 'stay at home' warmongers. Attitudes to war have changed throughout the ages, from the Elizabethan time, when ordinary civillians were not listened to and if a soldier were to make his view known he would be court marshalled and shot before a firing squad, to the more liberal times of the 21st century. Tennyson's rhetorical question can now be answered, their glory faded long ago as his prehistoric view of war has now been destroyed by the views of Wilfred Owen and other young revolutionaries who have witnessed war in all it's full splendour and it's so called 'Patriotism and glory.' It truly is 'Dulce et decorum est.' 'The old lie.' ...read more.

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