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War Poems

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Write on the 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Dulce at Decorum est'. Remember to discuss the view of war in each poem and to compare and contrast. We have been discussing two poems on the war. Both poets have very different views on the war and therefore the poems are very different. But both poems emphasise how awful the war actually, in their own way. The first poem I will analyse is 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Lord Tennyson. This poem is about the war between France and Britain against Russia fighting for control over the Crimean peninsula. Lord Tennyson was the Poet Laureate, witch means that he was the county's official poet, and so is stressing the bravery of the soldiers, rather than their mistake. The first verse is very effective because there's a strong sense of rhythm, we can almost hear the horses galloping. 'Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward,' Here in the first verse we sense that something is gong to go terribly wrong because of the line, 'All in the valley of death, Rode the six hundred.' The fact the valley is called 'the Valley of Death' gives the impression that something is going to go wrong, and that death is waiting for them in the valley. ...read more.


This is contrasting to the other poet who wrote 'Dulce Et Decorum Est', he is saying that it isn't a glorious thing at all to fight for your country or to go to war. Tennyson is finishing this last verse with 'Noble six hundred', to show to us what he thought of the soldiers. They are no longer just 'the six hundred', because they have accomplished something heroic and fought for their country, many losing their lives. Therefore they are now the 'noble six hundred'. The next poem I will be analysing is 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen. The title is ironic because we see that Wilfred Owen, right from the start, is making it very clear that he doesn't think it is a glorious and proper thing to fight in the war, as the title suggest. He is being a little sarcastic here. In the first few lines we receive a very clear image of the war. 'Bent double, like beggars under sacks, Knock-Kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge'. This isn't a very pleasant image at all, but it gives us an idea as to how Wilfred Owen saw the war. He uses a lot of adjectives, metaphors and comparisons in this verse, which is effective as it emphasises how horrible the war was and it makes the description very powerful, it also makes the poem more interesting for the reader. ...read more.


As we can see, both poems are very different, they contrast with each other, giving totally different views on the war and focusing on very different sides of the war. For instance, Tennyson is saying that it is a very glorious and heroic thing to fight and die for your country, while Wilfred Owen is implying that war is not a glorious thing at all. There are some very strong descriptions in 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' like, 'Knock-kneed, coughing like beggars under sacks' to emphasise what war was like. Wilfred Owen was there, experiencing it all, so he knows what it really is like. He's describing some unpleasant images of the war, people in pain and dying. Whereas in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' there is no direct description of death, even though we know that hundreds die. Tennyson has decided to focus on the bravery of the men instead, because he is writing what he thinks people want to hear. He's writing about how heroic and brave the men were and that what they did should be respected. But Wilfred Owen is telling the truth about the war and not what people want to hear. There are very different feelings and atmospheres in the two poems. 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' has a nice rhythm to it and has a more pleasant and graceful feeling to it. Whereas 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' creates a sense of panic and tension. ...read more.

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