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How do both Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen and The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Tennyson show the reality of war?

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How do both "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen and "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Tennyson show the reality of war? Both of the poems focus on war, but they are both set at different points in time. "Dulce et Decorum est" is about the horrors of World War I, which went on from 1914- 1918. "The Charge of the Light Brigade" was based around actions taken in the Crimean War (1854- 1856). Both poems are narrates, they tell a story. Owens is about a squad of soldiers, who have been gassed; one man does not put his mask on in time and dies. The point of his poem is that that it is not "sweet, fitting or right to die for your country", which is what "Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori" means. In Alfred Tennyson's poem the "Light Brigade" are sent to by charge into battle, however, they are sent tot the wrong place by accident and they are sent to their deaths. Tennyson is glorifying their names and bravery. Even though they are both about war, the poems use a lot of different techniques. Owen uses a lot of gory imagery to show what life was like for the soldiers, Tennyson makes use of metaphors and similes, and he makes the war sound heroic while creating the impact of the tragedy at the end. ...read more.


In "Dulce et Decorum est" there is a lot of gruesome and realistic imagery planted in the poem, "the white eyes writhing in his face" the alliteration here makes it easier for the reader to imagine the scene, "at every jolt, the blood come gargling from his froth-corrupted lungs," the use of the word gargling places the image of him suffering and drowning on his own blood, as he would have been. The word corrupted could be referring to the generals/government that have lied to the country about the war, or perhaps it could be taken as a literal meaning and mean that the all the goodness has gone from the lungs and it has been taken over by the blood. "Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud," at this point Owen is describing the sight of one of his men, the use of the word obscene implicates that he can't bear to look, and this shouldn't even be seen, and cancer could mean that it is a slow but sure kill, like what is happening to the man. The word bitter may be referring back to the title; it is sweet, and as he is explaining war is not "sweet". Also the word cud means there is no goodness left in him, just pain and suffering. ...read more.


What he is trying to say is "You have not experienced war, and you never will so you can't say how good it is". The title of the poem is meant for ironic purposes; as war is not sweet, it is horrible and hard work, and people will not have good memories of it. Tennyson is sending out a different message, he is saying that we should honour the soldiers for their bravery. In the second stanza he uses the word "blundered" to convey how Lord Raglan made an almost childlike mistake when he sent the soldiers into the wrong valley. He wants people to remember their valour; he thinks this poem encourages that. I think that they both show the reality of war but in different ways, Tennyson's has been tainted by time and lacks the detail that Owens has. In "Dulce et Decorum est" because he was there and witnessed it first hand. I appreciate Owens' poem, because it shows the reality of the situation, and has exposed the people like Jessie Pope who tried to hide it. I think that both of the poets have similar views on war, even though by reading theses poems you would not be able to see it straight away. As Owen was bad, he even volunteered to go back to war after he was diagnosed with shell-shock. Also Tennyson never says war is good, he just wants to honour the people who fought and died in it. ...read more.

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