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Compare and contrast the ways in which war is presented in 'The Charge Of The Light Brigade', 'Vox Militantis' and 'Drummer Hodge'.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the ways in which war is presented in 'The Charge Of The Light Brigade', 'Vox Militantis' and 'Drummer Hodge'. The three poems 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', 'Vox Militantis' and 'Drummer Hodge' are set in the Crimean War and the Boer War. The Crimean War started in 1854 and in September of that year allies besieged Sebastpool in Crimea. In October the Russians attacked the British base at Balaclava. During this battle the Charge of the Light Brigade took place. The Charge of the Light Brigade was written immediately by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, after the reports came back to England. The Charge of the Light Brigade is different from the other poems because it is about a specific event whereas Vox Militantis and Drummer Hodge are more general. Drummer Hodge was written by Thomas Hardy; Hardy wrote this poem because he had heard of the death of a young drummer boy. The word Hodge was a word used for a 'country bumpkin' which he thought suitable because the young boy had lived in the country all his short life. ...read more.

Middle

The title of the poem, Vox Militantis actually means voice of the soldiers. In this poem, the soldiers get a voice to explain why they fought. The poem opens similarly to 'Drummer Hodge' and focuses immediately on the, 'wide veldt'. The descriptions of the landscapes are very similar to those in Drummer Hodge. Both of these poems are from the same war. In Vox Militantis, this theme is shown by the phrase, '...Boer and Briton lie...' this means that the enemies will become part of the same land and be with it forever. Most of the poem is taken up by a conversation between the stars and the dead soldiers, the stars are asking the soldiers questions and the soldiers are explaining why they chose to fight. The stars are seen as the voice of reason. The descriptions of them as 'cold, calm, and brilliant' have double meanings. The words 'cold' and 'brilliant' could mean unfeeling or cold or amazing or bright. 'Brilliant' not only refers to the physical brightness but also to the pure rationality and logic, which the stars represent. ...read more.

Conclusion

The poet is clearer about his attitude towards war in this poem than the other poets. In Drummer Hodge the poet is not quite as clear as in Charge of the Light Brigade whereas in Vox Militantis, the poet appears to be weighing up the two sides of the argument in his mind, making his opinion much less obvious. The poet in Charge of the Light Brigade talks about duty in stanza two, as does the poet in Vox Militantis. In Charge of the Light Brigade the poet also uses personification similar to Drummer Hodge but here the personification is used for a negative effect. This contrasts to Vox Militantis where personification is used for the stars and are looking down, protecting the men. In Charge of the Light Brigade the poet chooses to personify things which are bad to the soldiers. All the poets manage to create their desired effect and leave a lasting impression on the reader of war and its harsh realities. From these poems, I know more of the horrors of war and I feel sympathy for the men, as well as admiration for their bravery and heroism. Sophie Quiney ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

The essay writer makes a solid job of comparing these three poems, though the presentation here is a little "bitty", skipping from one feature to another in no particular order. The circumstances surrounding the poems are well explained and useful comparisons and contrasts are made regarding, for instance, the use of imagery and the attitude of the people involved.

Paragraph construction is well-managed, with a clear topic for each, and sentences are well-controlled.

The biggest disappointment is the conclusion, which should serve the task of bringing all these elements back together, briefly, and summarising their significance. However, the overall effort is good and just deserves its grade here.

4 stars

Marked by teacher Jeff Taylor 24/10/2014

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