In this essay I will be comparing two war poems. The poems, Dulce et
Decorum est, by Wilfred Owen and Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred
Lord-Tennyson came from different generations; Owen's is written from
his own experiences during the first world war; Lord-Tennysons poem
was written from the safety of his own home during the Crimean war.
The only real similarity between the two poems is that they were both
written about the battlefield. Owen's poem is a heartfelt plea against
military propaganda, while Tennyson's poem is propaganda.
To understand these poems more, we must look at the poet's lives:
· Wilfred Owen led a rather comfortable life as a tutor until he
enlisted in October 1915. Owen was an Officer in the 2nd Artists
Rifles Officers Training Corps and was recommended for the Military
Cross. Probably one of Owens most poignant memories of the war was the
subject if this poem, the death of a fellow soldier and friend in a
brutal mustard gas attack. On November 4th 1918, Owen tragically died
in a German Machine gun attack, just seven days before the armistice.
His parents received the news of his death on November 11th, while the
bells were ringing out the end of the war.
· Alfred "Eccentric" Lord-Tennyson began writing at the age of 8 and
had written most of a blank verse play by the age of 14. Tennyson
became the poet laureate in 1850 and finally accepted a baronetcy and
became Lord-Tennyson in 1884, after numerous offers. Being the poet
laureate he was expected to write about the Crimean war, and he did.
The result of this is Charge of the Light Brigade...
... middle of paper ...
...use it expects no answer, only the knowledge
that their glory will never fade. The ending to Dulce et Decorum est
is very powerful. You could just read the end of it and understand
what the poem is about. It addresses it's intended audience and uses
Latin very cleverly to create a very hard-hitting, saddening final
"The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori."
Personally I think that Dulce et Decorum est is the better of the two
poems. It addresses war realistically and tells the truth and the raw
details of war. It has a clear pace and the words really cut through
you. I dislike Charge of the Light Brigade for its treatment of war.
It makes it sound like an all right event, when it is much the
opposite. Although I do admire the way Tennyson has made such an awful
thing sound almost romantic.
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