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Poetry Comparison - "The Charge Of The Light Brigade" and "Futility".

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Introduction

Poetry Comparison - "The Charge Of The Light Brigade" and "Futility" Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Wilfred Owen both write about events during war, but their poems are presented very differently. By using different form, structure and language, "The Charge Of The Light Brigade" comes across as a very public poem. This compares to Owen's private poem "Futility". In these poems, the soldiers are presented as brave during battle. Tennyson's "The Charge Of The Light Brigade" is comprised of six verses or stanzas, varying in length from six to twelve lines. Each line has two stressed syllables, called dimeter, and each stressed syllable is followed by two unstressed syllables. This rhythm gives the effect of hoof beats, helping the reader to imagine horses galloping, charging into battle. The use of the "falling" rhythm, in which the stress beat comes first, and then "falls off", shapes the underlying message of the devastating fall of the Light Brigade. The poem is largely effective because of the way it conveys the movement and noise of the charge, through the strong and repetitive falling meter. ...read more.

Middle

"Storm'd at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well" indicates that the soldiers rode bravely onward despite the fact that they were under fire. Not a single soldier was discouraged or questioned the command to charge forward, even though all the soldiers realised that their commander had made a terrible mistake: "Was there a man dismay'd? Not tho' the soldier knew Some one had blunder'd," The role of the soldier was to obey and "not to make reply... not to reason why." Tennyson uses the question, "Was there a man dismay'd?" Which allows the reader to have an involvement in the poem, increasing its highly public profile. Darren Cave Page 1 5/2/2007 "Futility" by Wilfred Owen is written in the form of a sonnet, in a battlefield in France. A sonnet is usually seen as a challenge to write; yet Owen seems able to write one, during a battle. The sonnet is split into two stanzas. The first stanza describes the situation in detail and the second invites the reader to get involved in making a comment. This is a very unusual way of writing a sonnet, as normally there is a rhyme scheme. ...read more.

Conclusion

In this stanza there are three rhetorical questions of which Owen is unsure of the answers. This creates a conversational effect and a more personal involvement in the poem. The language used, "home" and "its touch" is personal and private, emphasising the quiet, private feeling of events in war. I think that Owen captures this on a personal level as he wrote this poem as a soldier at the battlefront. These two poems are both structurally excellent and each one communicates its purpose well. Tennyson tells us of the bravery and togetherness of the soldiers. It celebrates the readiness of the soldiers as a unit to die for their cause-the emphasis is not on killing. Owen relates his feelings on the death of one individual soldier who fought bravely and died. Tennyson, who was a highly public poet, wrote this account ten years after the Battle of Balaclava as a memorial to it. The poem is written for presentation, in honour and glory of the "noble six hundred". Owen is also successful in communicating, on a personal level, the death of a soldier, in the front line of battle. His poem gives more of a sense of loss then the honour, which Tennyson brings out in his poem. Darren Cave Page 2 5/2/2007 ...read more.

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Although there is some very good analysis of these two poems the response reads as two mini essays rather than a comparison of the two pieces of poetry. When looking at two poems, it is important to link the pieces throughout the essay, either through similarities or differences.

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Marked by teacher Laura Gater 07/08/2013

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