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Comparing Dulce et Decorem Est with Charge of the Light Brigade

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Comparing Dulce et Decorem Est with Charge of the Light Brigade

Although both 'Dulce et Decorum Est´ and 'The Charge of the Light

Brigade´ are about battle and the death of soldiers, they portray the

experience of war in different ways. The main difference between the

poems is the message they express. They seem to be writing about

completely different wars. Wilfred Owens poem ‘Dulce et Decorum Est,’

was written from his point of view as a soldier in the war. It is much

more personal and emotive than ‘Charge of the Light Brigade.’

Tennyson’s poem, on the other hand was written as one of his duties as

the Poet Laureate at the time. It lacks the detail and also the

personal experience that Owens’s poem has, and gives the impression

that Tennyson does not actually care about the war very much and does

not know much about it. ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ was written to

memorialise a suicidal charge by light cavalry over open terrain by

British forces in the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War. 247 men

of the 637 in the charge were killed or wounded.

Tennyson wrote 'Light Brigade´ in a few minutes after reading the

description in The Times of the Battle of Balaclava in 1854. His poem

increased the morale of the British soldiers fighting in the Crimean

War and of the people at home, but Tennyson had not been an eyewitness

to the battle he describes.

I think Tennyson’s motive for writing this poem was to glorify the act

of war, I feel he wanted to celebrate the bravery of the six hundred

British troops who went to battle knowing that they were going to die.

I think this because from my own knowledge I know Lord Tennyson was

the poet Laureate at the time of the Crimean war, but did not witness

any fight...

... middle of paper ...

...atin is used. This contrasts

with the rest of the poem and makes it more dramatic. The reader

lingers on the last phrase to work out what it means and it makes more

of an impact on them in Latin than it would in English. The last line

of ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ is also very dramatic. As I have

already mentioned, it refers to the soldiers all the way through the

poem as ‘the six hundred’ and then at the end refers to them as ‘the

noble six hundred’ as if the war is over and the soldiers are

victorious at the end of the poem.

Overall I prefer ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ as it much more powerful to

read. It is well structures and uses a lot of alliteration, assonance,

such as ‘white eyes writhing’ and repetition all the way through. It

makes the reader feel guilty, angry and understand the pain and

suffering that the soldiers went through in a subtle way.
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