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Write about the Variety of responses to war that you have found amongst the poets whose worked is included in your anthology of pre - 1914 war poetry.

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Introduction

Write about the Variety of responses to war that you have found amongst the poets whose worked is included in your anthology of pre - 1914 war poetry. 'Into the stuff of his thought and utterance, whether he be on active service or not, the poet-interpreter of war weaves these intentions, and cooperates with his fellows in building up a little higher and better, from time to time, that edifice of truth for whose completion can be spared no human experience, no human hope.' - George Herbert Clarke War is rife with suffering, forcing everyone involved to endure the most extreme of conditions. Armed conflict itself unavoidably places all those involved in mortal danger. Some find this to be a honourable test of courage, others as a waste of precious young lives. However, war has an effect on people outside of soldiers who fight. Numerous other, including relatives of soldiers who have fought, young and innocent children who are confused by the loud noises and the need for their precious father to go to arms and all those people whose houses have are destroyed or used as military fortifications. In some way, war has an effect on everyone. Naturally, war raises many questions, what is the purpose of war? Many have pondered why some of the most intelligent world leaders have had to retort to the most basic of reactions. In light of the recent events in America, the purpose of war is even more relevant. Is a knee-jerk reaction always the right and moral thing to do? Many would say no. If it were merely a question of good versus bad, right versus wrong, then war would serve a straightforward moral purpose. However, it is not usually a case of good versus bad, and in reality the cause of many conflicts in difficult to comprehend. Why do many use religion as their reason to go to arms, when the bases of most religions are forgiveness and peace? ...read more.

Middle

By this he meant 'it is magnificent, but it is not war.' this sentiment is very much expressed by Tennyson. The main point of the poem is the celebration of the soldier's unquestioning obedience to orders, despite the fact that it was obvious to everyone involved that failure was inevitable. The command, 'Forward, the Light Brigade!' is followed by the comment, ' Was there a man dismayed?' the answer to this obviously being no. Tennyson goes on to add with some irony about the role of a soldier: 'Their's not to make reply, Their's not to reason why, Their's but to do and die.' Tennyson comments on how soldiers a merely pawns at the command of their general's whim. He also comments on the widespread knowledge that few of them would survive. The poem continues with the rhythms and images of the poem captured by the sound of the horses hooves thundering into the 'Valley of Death'. The words that Tennyson uses for this line refer to the bible, Psalm 23 in particular. This is important as the religious link obviously refers to the great sacrifice made by Jesus. The next stanza is full of cinematic imagery: 'Cannon to right o them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them, Volleyed and thundered;' We vividly see the men, the horses, the artillery, the smoke and the deaths of so many innocent men and horses. The shouting of orders in the first two stanzas increases the whole drama of the situation. The above quote gives us the impression of a caged animal, unable to escape. Repetition of certain words also plays a large part too, in particular the number '600', reminding us of just how many lives were out in jeopardy by the incompetence of those in command. The heroism of the men is highlighted once again: 'Stormed at with shot and shell, Boldly the rode and well,' Despite the fact that they are being shot at, they continue to fight on. ...read more.

Conclusion

Others fit into war being a route to glory and others being war brings dishonour to those who wage it. The irresistibly of war is also stated and the fact that war brings suffering non-combatants too. The majority of the collection fits into many of these categories and many more. I have discovered a variety of responses in this collections many of them are difficult to categorise. The poems that describe war as a waste of young lives and as a source of death and mutilation are: Drummer Hodge, Come up From the Fields Father, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Drums and A Christmas Ghost story. However, other poems refer to war being a route to glory: To Lucasta, Going to Wars, The Charge of the Light Brigade and Ode, Written in the Beginning Of The Year 1746. Many people would say that war is necessary; one must fight for what they want; however, I disagree. I personally take Kipling's point of view on war, war is useless and all those who wage it are dishonourable. However, I also agree that soldiers are merely pawns doing a job. Surely, it is not their fault if their commanders choose to wage wars, there is not always a correct and responsible way to resolve problems and inevitably problems will occur. In summate it would be a different essay if I wished to talk about my own view point on war, however, it must be mentioned to show the impact of war. My own view point is that war is not necessary all the time, however, sometimes it is needed. Referring to the quote included at the beginning of my essay. Poets must write about war, all write from their own perspective, the poem would be negligible if it did not show the poets thoughts. However, if I had to write a poem on war it would not be about glory or honour, nor would it be about shame and death. My poem would be about truth and hope. Mufadal Jiwaji - 10T 03-May-07 1 ...read more.

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