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war poems comparison

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the poets' attitudes to war in the charge of the light brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Dulce et decorum est by Wilfred Owen The charge of the light brigade by Alfred lord Tennyson and Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen show very different perspectives of war. Both Poems are complete contrasts to each other. On one hand Tennyson praises and glorifies war while Owen's poem shows the horrors of war and shows how dishonourable war really is. The charge of the light brigade is about the disastrous British war against the Russians in which six hundred British men with swords fought Russian men with guns and were utterly defeated. Dulce et Decorum est is about the horrors of World War One. The poem is depressing and pessimistic. The mood in Tennyson's poem is proud and honorable in view of how the men gave up their lives without a question. The tone of the poem is of praise as he calls the soldiers "noble six hundred". The mood in Owen's poem is the exact opposite. It is angry and degrading as he calls the soldiers "Beggars" and "Hags". Owen describes how the tired and exhausted soldiers face a gas attack and how one very unfortunate soldier dies a terrible, excruciatingly painful and, in Owen's opinion a pointless death. The tone in the poem has fury, disgust and sadness in it. ...read more.

Middle

He believes that men should die for their country. He is full of praise for them like he says, "Honour the light brigade/ noble six hundred." He tells us to honour and remember them which shows he was proud and in support of what they did for their country. Tennyson uses repetition of the last line of each stanza to help narrate his progression of events. Stanza one to three ends with "Rode the six hundred." The forth stanza ends with "Not the six hundred." The fifth stanza ends with "left of the six hundred" and the final stanza ends with "Noble six hundred." Tennyson's use of repetition and variation is so effective that the outline of the war can be ascertained by reading only the last line of each stanza. He also uses alliteration to heighten the climax of action in stanza four and five, for example "Reeled from the sabre- stroke / shattered and sundered." And "Stormed at with shot and shell/ while horse and hero fell." The usage of alliteration intensifies the action while the insistent-sounding meter gives the poem a military sounding tone. The division of the stanza appear balanced at a glance however Tennyson structures the poem asymmetrically like a lopsided sea-saw. Using this analogy, stanza four serves as a balance point, separating stanzas three and five which use parallelism to give a "before-and-after" effect, just in the same way as the battle. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand in The Charge of the Light Brigde the soldiers were riding boldly "into the valley of death" knowing that they were going to die but this didn't put them off. They weren't fearful at all. The soldiers in Dulce et Decorum est are very tired, they aren't able to walk to the resting place properly "And towards our distant resting place began to trudge" It is very difficult for these soldiers to walk. "Men marched asleep" Shows that these men were not aware of what was happening around them as they were very tired and they no longer have the discipline they are supposed to have. They have lost their strength, vigour, and valour. Their senses aren't working properly. "Many had lost their boots" suggests that the soldiers were walking bare foot. This could also mean that the men had lost their dignity. The soldiers were "Drunk with fatigue" which also shows that they were consumed with tiredness and need a rest because of their time spent on the frontline. The mood of Owens poems in the first stanza is of disgust, sadness and anger. He is sad because the men are no longer what they were. He is disgusted and angry because he looks at these men and they have been reduced from soldiers into "Beggars" and "hags". The poet was there to witness these events because of the vivid imagery he uses throughout the poem. He also uses the first person pronoun, "we cursed through the sludge" Ahadur Rahman Year 11 ...read more.

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