Compare and Contrast,

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Louise Black


Compare and Contrast, “Dulce et Decorum Est” with “The Charge of The Light Brigade”

The poems I am going to compare and contrast are “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen and “The Charge of The Light Brigade” by the Poet Laureate of his time, Lord Tennyson. These poems both have a main subject of war. The main difference though, which leads to many other differences in the two poems are that they were written very in different centuries and times.  

This time difference meant approaches to war were different and hence the tones of the poems are very dissimilar. Owen is responding directly to a poem written by Jessie Pope. He was outraged at the tone of her poem. Pope was encouraging people to go to war and fight for their country in with a glorified tone and ironically she was unaware about the atmosphere of the war. Owen, who was a soldier and fought on the front line during the war, had a very different attitude to fighting. He includes vivid descriptions of events throughout battles, and felt as though war was a waste of young, innocent lives. However in Tennyson’s “The Charge of The Light Brigade” his attitude is very unlike Owen’s. Tennyson sounds heroic and gallant, proud to be at war. This is partly because Owen’s point of view was written from first hand experience where as Tennyson didn’t attend the Battle of Balaclava (the battle his poem was based on) and so only heard glorified reports of the event.

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The rhyming in “Dulce et Decorum Est” is surprisingly more regular (ABAB rhyming scheme) than Lord Tennyson’s “The Charge of The Light Brigade”. Despite this, the rhymes are not the major feature of the poem and so does not stand out as much as Tennyson’s poem, which relies on rhyming for the tone of the poem. Tennyson uses repeated words at the end of sentences such as: “them”, “them and “them” in the third stanza, or repeated sounds such as: “bare”, “air” and “there” in the fourth stanza. Both poets use sounds effects to convey the tone of the ...

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