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Write an essay in which you explore the attitudes to war expressed in the poems you have studied.

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English literature Coursework Write an essay in which you explore the attitudes to war expressed in the poems you have studied. Ever since time was inaugurated, man has been influenced by war as has human evolution and history. There have been many famous conflicts over the ages and many consequences to these battles that we can still see and experience today. For a topic as diverse and important as war for the history of man, it is important that we fully comprehend its merits and also its downfalls. We should also maybe try to gain a fuller understanding of the complexities of war for those involved. The only way we can experience this is to involve ourselves and one useful way of doing this is through literature as it can convey the feeling of war to all. It breaks down barriers of experience to show us war in its purest possible form. Millions of young men lost their lives fighting in battle for their countries, often not even fully comprehending what they were fighting for. Trench warfare was used commonly. The situation often arose where both sides of the battle took it in turns to charge at the others' gunfire with no headway ever made. The results were devastating and only those who experienced those results first hand can ever begin to understand the destruction of life that took place. ...read more.


I think Hardy wrote Drummer Hodge to show us the pointlessness, futility and Irony of war through the fact that drummer Hodge's final resting-place was in a country he probably loathed. Also, he tries to educate those who have a lack of understanding of the real horrors of war. He uses the Drummer Hodge as a symbol of the pain and injustice war inflicts on the masses. The poet Alfred Tennyson deals with the reality of war in a much more forgiving fashion. In the poem 'Charge of the Light Brigade' he tells the famous story of the British regiment during the Crimean War, where the orders were mistaken by a British cavalry commander with disastrous results: 'Someone had blundered' He told his men to charge the main Russian position, a valley filled with artillery. The horsemen obeyed gallantly but were gunned down like tin cans. It is the best known example of both the heroism and stupidity of war. Tennyson sets his poem around a real event but his stance on this event is different to what others might be. He concentrates not on the futility of the story but with the unbounding heroism with which the soldiers will always be remembered. This can be seen in the lines: Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to question why, Theirs but to do and die: Into the valley of death Here Tennyson is suggesting that even though many of ...read more.


The first is an example of the extreme stress that the surgeons are put under, while the other is a metaphor for drifting in and out of consciousness. These have the effect of engaging the reader while also appealing to the sense of light. We see the personification of the guns on the eighth line of the poem. This helps to bring home to the reader the futility and death that is associated with the war. Almost like there is more life in some of the guns than the people that have been shot down by them. This poem could easily be mistaken as a criticism of the surgeons and the medical profession during times of war, however I believe that it is really a tribute to their dedication and skill. The real people that are attacked in this poem are those higher up in the establishment who began the war. He criticises them for letting their own people die and get themselves into the situations described in the poem. In conclusion I have studied three poems, each with contrasting views on the issue of war. None to me are right or wrong because I believe that sometimes war is justified, however many times it is not. My favourite poem of all that I have studied would have to be drummer Hodge, the reason for this is the empathy and pathos that is emitted from the poem. I feel that I can relate to the views expressed by Hardy. NIALL DUMIGAN 12S ENGLISH LITERATURE COURSEWORK 1 ...read more.

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