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War poetry

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Introduction

G.C.S.E Poetry-War Poetry Compare and contrast the poet's attitudes to war in The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen. The two poems I am going to compare are The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson which was written in the Nineteenth Century and Dulce et Decorum est, by Wilfred Owen which was written during the First World War from 1914-1918. The Charge of the Light Brigade tells the story of a brigade consisting of six hundred soldiers who rode on horseback into the 'valley of death' for half a league (about one and a half miles). They were obeying a command to charge the enemy forces that had been seizing their guns. Dulce et Decorum est is a graphical description of the death of a single soldier during a mustard gas attack which was thrown by the German army during the first world war. Both poems have a central theme of war but show very different perspectives of it. The poem Dulce et Decorum est was written by Wilfred Owen during the first world war. In this poem Owen describes the scenes of that war as he saw it. The poet tells us that the soldiers have been robbed of their dignity and respect, this has been shown by comparing them to beggars and hags. ...read more.

Middle

Owen suggests that he too has suffered as a result of seeing the death of soldiers. He is haunted every time he sleeps and is forced to relive the death of the soldier whom he saw inhaling the gas and dying in front of him. The overall tone/mood is that he is angry, frustrated and sickened at those who advocate war. There is a sense of rage at those who had little idea of what really happened during battle. In the final verse of the poem Owen invites those who glorified war to walk behind the soldier dying in agony and witness his horrible death. The soldiers face is described as being twisted in pain, ugly 'like a devils' due to the transformation being carried out by the gas-shells which changed the colour of his face by making him look as red as a devil Owen uses a rhyme scheme in Dulce et Decorum est. I.e. in the first stanza of the poem Owen uses, A B, A B, C D, and C D. Just as this rhyme scheme is constant so is Owens opinion of war that it will always stay vile and horrific. Owen shows the pity of war in Dulce et Decorum est in four different ways. Firstly he shows it in the description of the suffering soldiers in verse one. Secondly in the death of the soldier who inhaled the gas. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tennyson doesn't criticise the soldiers or the person who gave the order but he is giving homage to the soldiers. Whereas in Dulce et Decorum est Owen is clearly bitter at those who advocate war and he is emotionally involved in the suffering of the soldier(s). Tennyson's language is commemorative and heroic. Whereas in Dulce et Decorum est Owen uses graphic language to show the obscenity of war. The main difference between Dulce et Decorum est and The Charge of the Light Brigade is that Tennyson commemorates on the soldiers who give their lives in the way of their countries whereas Owen addresses the people who advocate the war by telling them how evil, vile and horrific war is. Both poems talk about war but not in the same manner. The Charge of the Light Brigade glorifies, praises and elevates war where soldiers die honourably for their country whereas Dulce et Decorum est criticises and depicts the true horrors and realities of war. These poems are relevant today because there are wars happening nowadays too in Iraq. I think that Dulce et Decorum est is more effective because Owen wrote a firsthand account of war. I think that Owen gets is message across to the readers more successfully because he shows a really graphic and horrific image of war. I prefer Dulce et Decorum est because Owen himself suffered the war and was there which is a more reliable account whereas Tennyson just got information from newspapers and media which is not a firsthand account of war. Ehsaan ali ...read more.

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