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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