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

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.

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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

    Explain how the poets of Happy is England Now in the anthology Up the ...

    4 star(s)

    The fact this is conveyed as an asyndetic list reinforces the idea of the natural wonder and so is able to portray going to war as a positive thing. In contrast, "Men.." does not mention England at all; it is a more general poem about war, which perhaps makes it

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

    This was the binding of the father to the son. When the ordeal was over - Tom Ross took his boy upstairs and watched while Robert stood in front of the old dark mirror, slipping out of his pyjamas and seeing that his skin was different now (a sort of ochre yellow).

  1. World War 1 Poetry.

    Jessie Pope constantly uses slang language in the poem. This is mainly because of the audience this piece is aimed at. She uses terms that they are familiar with and so often use such as 'sit tight' and 'up to her neck,' which make the poem sound more interesting and appealing to the youth.

  2. GCSE War Poetry Essay Is it Sweet and Fitting to die for your ...

    is not a big deal and is one thing that just happens. This would have been the thought of the soldiers before the war as if they may not return but they will all be heroes and that's all that counts.

  1. On the Idle Hill, The Drum and Drummer Hodge - Poets often write poems ...

    The next two lines, 'To sell their liberty for charms Of tawdry lace, and glittering arms.' are suggesting that was takes your freedom for something material and worthless, the uniform and the weapons. The poet's thoughts here are that was may seem exciting and a chance to be a hero but it is really taking your freedom and life.

  2. 'Fools rush into my head, and so I write' (Satire II.i, l.4). Discuss the ...

    However, this image of harmony is quickly destroyed in the next line where Pope tells us that this union is at the expense of human consumerism, as the elephant and tortoise have been transformed to combs. We then are shown what can be found on Belinda's dressing table.

  1. Explore the Portrayal of War in the pre 1900 poetry -

    "For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother;" These lines bring to me a picture of the custom of becoming somebody's blood brother. If these men fought, it would be unavoidable that they would be wounded, but this simply would lead to their blood mixing and creating a "band of brothers;".

  2. War Poetry Essay.

    "And wakened us from sleeping" Brooke refers to war as being reminiscent of diving into a pool of water, the immediate awakening and freedom, escaping from the world above, the rush of adrenaline and exhilaration. "As swimmers into cleanness leaping" The transaction from a world which there was no longer

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