Comparing Three War Poems: "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Who's for the Game" and "Dulce et Decorum est."

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Areej Karim 9A

How is the theme of war presented in these poems?

Three competing poems trying to achieve their goal, by using a variety of techniques, tones and themes. "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Who's for the Game" and "Dulce et Decorum est."

   Written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' is based on the Crimean war that took place in Balaclava. Famous for its cynical effect on war, this poem explicates why the regiment were defeated. Additionally, it has a dramatic theme by using phrases that allow the reader to sense the environment.

   Jessie Pope- author of 'Who's for the Game?'- was an English poet, writer and journalist who was best known for her patriotic poems that were published during World War 1. 'Who's for the Game?' is similar, in a way to Lord Tennyson's poem because they are both talking about war, as well as both poems contributed in newspapers. Yet Pope conveys a more persuasive, enthusiastic and memorable message, in which she literally tells the audience that they are the ones who have to participate. After studying WWI, an arrogant woman she may seem. She had no absolute idea of how dangerous the battlefield was, making her poem a misunderstanding.    

   'Dulce et Decorum est' creates an aberrant impression altogether, to contradict to the other poems. Wilfred Owen explains that the public comforted themselves with the fact that the shell-shocked young soldiers were dying noble and heroic deaths, whereas in reality, fighting for the country lead to unnecessary death of innocent lives. Owen, twentieth century's best poet, spread the popular phrase-'it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country'- wrong.

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   In 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', Alfred Lord Tennyson's use of interminable repetition is unexpected. His first two lines, "half a league, half a league", mimics the rhythm of galloping horses. This also adds reality to the light brigade, as they were a cavalry unit.

   "The valley of death" is a powerful metaphor used to highlight that even though the situation was dangerous; the regiment were overcoming their fear and being brave. This is exaggerated by the last word "onward" from the sentence before.

   Assuming from the context, the pronoun "he" is the man in charge of ...

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