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Compare and contrast "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Henry V's speech at Harfleur by William Shakespeare.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Henry V's speech at Harfleur by William Shakespeare. I have been given the task of showing the similarities and differences between The Charge of the Light Brigade, a poem, and the speech at Harfleur, taken from the play Henry V. Both of these, though different styles of writing, represent images of war. The first comparison I can see is repetition. In The Charge of the Light Brigade, "Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them" is used to put emphasis on the situation. It is effective because it helps the reader to understand that they were completely surrounded. Repetition is also used in Henry V's speech, "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more". This is used to make the soldiers unite in friendship, it is effective because it urges the soldiers on and grabs their attention. ...read more.

Middle

Another comparison occurs when we consider Onomatopoeia. In The Charge of the Light Brigade, Tennyson writes, "volleyed and thundered". This is used to describe the scene in an interesting way, it is much more effective than saying it was loud, scary and the noise rumbled on, as this is basically what the quote is saying. In Henry V's speech, Shakespeare writes, "blast of war blows". This is used to encourage the soldiers and to try to make them unafraid of war, it is effective because not only does it describe the scene well, but it also motivates the soldiers in with its strong words such as "blast". Another contrast is that Tennyson had time to plan and prepare his poem, whereas Henry V's speech had to be more direct and impulsive. In The Charge of the Light Brigade the poem has structure and it rhymes. The poem is also written in verses, which adds to the structure. ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally there is a comparison in the effective vocabulary used. In The Charge of the Light Brigade there are effective verbs used, "flashed" and "charge"; these are used to describe the scene in an effective way. They show us how in war you had to act quickly; "flashed" gives me the image of men thrashing their swords around. In Henry V's speech there are effective adjectives used, "noblest", this means proud and brave. A great quote with effective adjectives is used in the speech, "Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage". The two effective contrasting adjectives here are "fair" and "hard-favoured". I have chosen these because I think these words capture what Henry V's speech is all about; which is pride, honour and courage. By using these two adjectives we see how Henry wants the men to change their appearance, so they can overcome the enemy. As I conclude I understand that because the two pieces of writing are written for different audiences, there are bound to be differences. However, both writers are successful in providing vivid images of the horror of war. Marcus Wright English Coursework Page 1 ...read more.

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