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

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Introduction

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. ...read more.

Middle

Tennyson uses fierce personification: "Jaws of Death". This creates a feeling of horror as it describes the opposition party as the trigger of death and it suggests that death was trapping the soldiers as if jaws opening and closing. The last two lines of Tennyson's stanzas use enjambment, which is determined by the lines "Into the mouth of hell, Rode the six hundred". In addition, one could picture the regiment entering the black abyss that is about to annihilate them. Tennyson describes the sound of a sword being pulled out by using onomatopoeia. The word impact on the powerful verb "flashed" helps the audience to visualise the scene. Also in the fourth stanza, "shattered" is another onomatopoeic verb. At the end of the fourth, fifth and sixth verses, Lord Tennyson creates suspense by changing the monosyllabic word "rode", into "not", "left" and "Noble". The suspense hints that the poem is concluding and that the regiment were defeated. Stanza six provides a final respect to the brave heroes as Tennyson uses the rhetorical question, "When can their glory fade?" Following the enquiry, the poet tells the reader to "Honour the charge they made" and to "Honour the Light brigade" because apparently, they died noble deaths. The title "Who's for the Game?" is an extended metaphor throughout the poem. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that the grave nature of the men's fatigue was so extreme that even the Five-nines (or sulphur mustard bombs) were outstripped. Thus, the illustrations create a sombre, miserable world, one in which the indignities the soldiers suffer seem as if they will go on indefinitely. Owen intends to use irony while saying "ecstasy" in second stanza. Certainly, the men should not be delighted about the attack. However, Owen might simply mean that the soldiers have entered a state of emotion so intense that even a rational thought is destroyed. The rule of three in the two-lined paragraph stresses the pain the soldiers were in. "Guttering, choking, drowning." They show how helpless the soldiers actually were and contradict with who's for the game as Pope estimated war as a picnic. The way Owen uses "My friend" in a sarcastic manner, to address Jessie pope, reassures us that he is not happy with her as she deceived many young people. Also it taunts her; as she reads this her attitude towards war would change. The patriotic slogan: "Dulce et Decorum est; Pro patria mori", is said without irony. Simply, it is called a lie. This brings full effect to the poem because it is the shortest line in the poem, using crucial words. This suggests that if Pope continues to spread the lie to young men, those men will create the abstract noun, hatred, for her. ?? ?? ?? ?? Areej Karim 9A ...read more.

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