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Comparing Charge of The light Brigade and Exposure.

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Compare the representation of war in Owen's 'Exposure' and Tennyson's 'Charge of the Light Brigade' Consider how the messages are conveyed through context, language and imagery. Alfred Tennyson's 'Charge of the Light Brigade' and Wilfred Owen's 'Exposure' are two different portrayals of war through poetry. 'Charge of the Light Brigade' is a fast moving poem made up of six stanzas with rhyming in each. The poem describes the advance made by the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava, part of the Crimean War. The Crimean war took place between 1853 and 1856 and Tennyson is one of the most important poets of the Victorian period. From 1850 until his death in 1892, he was poet Laureate, the countries official poet. The poem praises the Brigade, celebrating the sacrifice they made for the country. In the poem there is both the realistic depiction of the violence experienced by the soldiers and the glory of dying for their country. Exposure is a poem written about experiences during the war in winter during World War 1. His poem was a lot more depressing and looked on the more non-heroic. It talks about all the dangers of war not just the battles but it focuses on weather a lot throughout the poem, he talks about "Merciless iced east winds" and "frost will fasten to the mud" This gave us a very descriptive image of the climate during the war. ...read more.


Personification is used throughout both poems however it is used most in Exposure. Personification is used so that you could relate with the setting or object which is being described so everyday verbs and adjectives are used. In Exposure it uses personification to almost intimidate us with words like "Merciless iced east winds" and "The winds nonchalance". It gives the impression that the weather is angry and murderous. In Tennyson's poem, however, uses personification to stir up emotions and keep us on edge for the heroes he writes about by saying they are going into the "Jaws of death" and "Mouth of Hell" these words also mock the enemies in the battle saying that they are the place where Hell reigns. In Exposure Owen wants to describe just how bad conditions in WWI were. So a technique which Owen uses, which Tennyson doesn't at all, is similes. He uses two of these in one paragraph describing the sound of wind and bullets in the distance. "Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire. Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles. Northward incessantly, the flickering gunnery rumbles, far off, like a dull rumour of some other war." These lines link the freezing weather lingering on them and the isolation which they feel as they aren't in a major war zone. ...read more.


Tennyson even repeats most of a whole stanza in stanza 5 from stanza 3. Also at the end of each stanza's it ends with the words six hundred with a statement about them before. This showed the journey of the army. "Starting with rode the six hundred" for the first three stanza's then goes "Not the six hundred" which goes on to say that not all of them make it and then finally the last few words "Noble six hundred" It really makes the words stay in your mind, it stirs up emotions for these six hundred people who gave their lives and saying it so many times just reminds you each stanza about these six hundred 'heroes' who gave their lives. So leading on from that I come to my conclusion; I think that both of these poems are remarkable pieces of writing which bring two different points about war and also using some of the same techniques and using them to pursue their original ideas. Personally I emphasise more with Owen's poem as I feel that he brings a raw poem of the bad sides of war which I think is needed to show how bad war is as Tennyson just praises war. Overall though I think that both poems give due respect to people who have died in the war and that is written very beautifully, ...read more.

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