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Compare the viewpoint on war in Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson And Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen

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Introduction

Compare the viewpoint on war in 'Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson And 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Wilfred Owen By Abbi Jerath In this essay you will notice the differences and similarities between 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'. 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' was written in nineteenth century by Alfred Lord Tennyson. In contrast, 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' was written in the twentieth century by Wilfred Owen. The main similarity we have observed is that they both capture war time experiences. However, the poets' present these events using their own style, and the effect is two completely different observations of war. Alfred Lord Tennyson became a Poet Laureate for Queen Victoria. This meant all his audience were usually upper class, literary comrades. Tennyson had never been to war, and wrote about how he imagined war to be although many people did question his perception of the war. His poem 'Charge or the Light Brigade' was written about the Crimean war, October 1853 - February 1956, when six hundred men were mistakenly sent into a valley full of the opposition, only few survived. It would have been impossible for them to have been beaten they were destined for defeat. Tennyson could not criticise the country because doing so he could jeopardise his position because Poet Laureate could overlook his point, so his poem focused on the heroic and glorious side. His poem gives a sense that men are immortal; he uses metaphors to hide the reality make it all seem like it was all a good thing, when it really wasn't. The charge of the light brigade is divided into six stanzas that vary from six to twelve lines each. The poet also uses rhyme which alters with each stanza. In his poem "Charge of the Light Brigade" Tennyson describes the valiant charge of the light brigade into the "jaws of death." ...read more.

Middle

At the end of this stanza the angle shifts from what the soldiers think of their duty to a view of the overall battle situation, again repeating the image of the "valley of Death." Stanza 3 The first three lines of this stanza are almost identical, altering only the position of the cannons, presenting the plan of the battlefield visually, instead of merely stating the fact that there were cannons everywhere. By repeating the phrase three times, the reader is not only given information about the tremendous odds against the Light Brigade, but the poem gives the feeling of being surrounded. "Stormed" in extends the image of "thundered" from the line before it, making the barrage of cannon fire aimed at the cavalrymen appear almost like a force of nature. Following this Tennyson makes highlights that that the soldiers were brave, but also that they rode their horses well. The phrase that was used to end the first two stanzas is then extended : instead of the "Valley of Death," he uses the metaphor "jaws of Death" and extends this metaphor with "mouth of hell." Treating death as the same thing as hell, and making both as real as an animal's attack, the poem heightens the ferociousness of death on the battlefield. Stanza 4 The fourth stanza celebrates is a battle scene. They ride into the enemy, using their sabres against the enemies armed with cannons and pistols, and are able to break through the front line of defense. The pistols and rifles of the day would have been useless to the members of the Light Brigade because they needed reloading with a very intricate process that involved measuring gunpowder and pellets, which would have been impossible for a man on horseback. Sending a cavalry unit into the confined space of a valley against guns was so obviously hopeless, that it may be this, and not the brigade's initial success, that is referred to when the line "all the world wondered" appears in the middle of a dramatic battle scene. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tennyson does not focus on one person, but the division as a whole. Owen explains the fatal damage the gas does to the body - 'white eyes writhing in his face' and 'incurable sores on innocent tongues'. It speaks of Owen's belief that the soldiers were innocent to the attack. 'His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin' The writer invites us to be drawn in on a personal level and experience it inch by inch, watching and listening to the proceedings of that day. He connects war with hell, as did Tennyson. However, whilst Tennyson said the men were a noble and heroic , the mood surrounding the deaths in 'Dulce et Decorum est' is much more grave and heinous. In the final stanza, Owen draws in Jessie Pope, the poetess who wrote 'Whose for the game?' with political persuasions encouraging men to join the army, as a 'friend' and Owen implies that if she knew the truth of the attrocities of war, she would not persuade young men to sign up to the army, leading them to somehow see that war was a 'fun adventure'. Owen was furious with Pope for giving a forged likeness of war to men. Conclusion During the analysis of the two war poems, I have learnt that poetry can highlight on the same topic, but have very different angles and can contrast significantly to one another. This is because of the standpoint of the writers, in this instant their beliefs, experiences or naivety. War is not the glory trip as Tennyson so idealistically made it out to be, it is simply the courage of many men and women who bravely defend and represent the country. The reality of war is horrific for those that take part and can bear many scars, not only in the physical sense. Like many writers who are educated and not a soldier themselves the only glory exists in a false way in their way of manipulating and articulating the image of war to the masses. ...read more.

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