Comparison of Dulce et Decorum Est and Charge of the Light Brigade Essay

Comparison of Dulce et Decorum Est and Charge of the Light Brigade Essay

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Comparison of Dulce et Decorum Est and Charge of the Light Brigade

Compare and contrast the two poems Dulce et Decorum Est (Owen)
with Charge of the Light Brigade (Tennyson), paying particular
attention to the writers’ attitude to war.

The attitudes of poets towards war have always been expressed
vigorously in their poetry, each poet either condoning or condemning
war, and mitigating their attitudes in whatever way possible.

I aim to explore the change in the portrayal of war before and during
the twentieth century, and also the structures and devices poets use
to convey their views persuasively, and justify them. For this job I
have chosen to write about “Charge of the Light Brigade” written by
the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson and “Dulce et Decorum est” by the poet
Wilfred Owen. These two poems describe war, and scenes from war, with
varying levels of intensity and reality and also from different
viewpoints.

Written during the Crimean War Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light
Brigade” mirrors the sentiments expressed in the Battle of Balaclava.
This event took place in 1854 and is still remembered as one of the
most famous triumphs in British history. The truth is that Lord
Raglan suicidally led his troops " Into the valley of Death ", where
they were massacred. Lord Tennyson was the poet Laureate at the time
of the Crimean war, but did not witness any fighting and was not
involved in it but his clever and effective use of literary devices in
his poem ensure that this military fiasco was remembered as a glorious
victory. Tennyson puts across a message to remember, respect and
honour the soldiers for what they have given up their lives to do for
their country.

“Dulce et Decorum est” however, was writt...


... middle of paper ...


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suggesting that the writers of glorious war poems have even lied to
the young people, and sent them to the front line to die in their
millions, in awful conditions and distressing situations.

Having explored both poems, I feel that the one which brings about the
biggest response from me is “Dulce et Decorum est”. This is because of
the striking graphic imagery he uses, the way he describes the effects
of the war on him, and also because of the way he directs the poem at
the reader personally, using phrases such as “you” and “my friend”. In
my opinion, “The Charge of the Light Brigade” does not have the impact
and the realism to convey the opinions contained in it effectively and
forcefully. I feel is a more imaginative, outlook on war than Wilfred
Owen’s graphic poem. The thing I did like about Tennyson’s poem was
the excitement and passion and pace.

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