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Consider how and why the poetry of War has changed over time

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Alan Evans Tuesday 20th November 2001 Consider how and why the poetry of War has changed over time Overtime the concept of war has changed extensively and so has the poetry written to describe it. In this essay I will be looking at "The Charge of the Light Brigade" written in 1854 by Alfred Tennyson, it was set in The Crimean War, and is about how four hundred men lost there lives. And comparing it to "Dulce Et Decorum Est." This poem is set sixty four years after "The Charge of the Light Brigade" in 1918 by Wilfred Owen, and is about one mans opinion of the first world war. "The Charge of the Light Brigade" is a traditional poem set in 1854 at the start of the Crimean War. It was written by the poet laureate, Alfred Lord Tennyson after he read a news report in "The Times" on the 14th November 1854. He wrote the poem very quickly as a result. The first stanza has a rhythm that generates sound of horses galloping. ...read more.


In my opinion he wrote it like this to voice his opinion about someone making a mistake, but not to come under scrutiny from the leaders of the army, the families and the Royal Family. He then writes the orders of the men "Theirs not to make reply" "not to reason why" and " theirs but to do and die." These few lines show the soldier's tenacity and their never faulting, never-ending strive for success and power even though they were riding into near certain death. Tennyson then uses the metaphor "Into the valley of death" again, and he writes "Death" as a proper noun to emphasise the importance of it. He starts the third stanza, by setting a new scene. What the men are confronted with "Cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, cannon in front of them." And to emphasise the cannon he uses a lot of sound imagery using words like "volleyed and thundered" and "shot and shell." But still with all this raining down on the "light brigade" Tennyson doesn't let the reader know that they are in trouble, by using lines like "boldly they rode and well." ...read more.


Then the start of stanza five is setting the scene as they are retreating "Cannon to the left of them, cannon to the right of them, cannon behind them" and he uses the sound imagery with "Volleyed and thundered." He then writes "stormed at with shot and shell, while horse and hero fell" which represents to me that he is using alliteration to display that every man who attacked is a hero. But then says "they that had fought so well came though the jaws of death, back from the mouth of hell." Which represents to me he is saying that only the soldiers who fought well survived the battle, and also saying that they were eaten up by the mouth of hell and spat out, and that this metaphor conjures up a image of the men being cannon fodder. Then stanza six in my opinion he asks an unanswerable question "when can there glory fade?" because in my opinion people who are prepared to make the highest sacrifice, and give there lives for there country. Their glory could never and will never end. ...read more.

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