Even though Walt Whitman and Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote with different styles and ideals, the common theme of war gave them the similar purpose of exposing the destructive nature of battle while remaining inspiring and even optimistic. Tennyson’s "The Charge of the Light Brigade" reveals a fatal "blunder" that cost the lives of many English soldiers, while asserting that the unquestioning loyalty of the British troops causes tremendous pride. Whitman’s Drum-Taps series of poems, especially "Beat! Beat! Drums!," documents the tragedies that occurred during the Civil War, yet maintains a feeling of hope that the war will help to cleanse the nation and revitalize it. Despite the outward similarities between "Light Brigade" and Drum-Taps, subtle differences exist between the respective authors’ attitudes towards war and the tones that carry over into the poems. The extreme pride Tennyson felt for England as Britain’s poet laureate swayed his writing, and critics have since attacked the excessive jingoism that seeps into "Light Brigade" (Marshall 135), since he was unable to capture the immense suffering of battle that could only be seen on the front lines, where he never set foot. Conversely, Whitman was able to grasp the darkest of emotions that war generated in his poems because of the prolonged experience he had caring for the wounded and mourning the dead (Golden 106). Tennyson’s "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and Whitman’s "Beat! Beat! Drums!" appear to be nationalistic poems glorifying war, but while Tennyson paints a heroic picture of valiant soldiers fighting a just war, Whitman employs a mixture of sarcasm and grim reality to portr...
... middle of paper ...
...Jr. A Tennyson Handbook. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1963: 110-135.
Shaw, W. David. Alfred Lord Tennyson: the Poet in an Age of Theory. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1996: 25-35.
Sweet, Timothy. "Whitman’s Drum-Taps and the Rhetoric of War." Traces of War: Poetry, Photography, and the Crisis of the Union. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990: 11-45.
Tennyson, Alfred Lord. "The Charge of the Light Brigade." The Norton Anthology: English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996: 1954-1955.
Thomas, M. Wynn. "Fratricide and Brotherly Love: Whitman and the Civil War." ed. Ezra Greenspan. The Cambridge Companion to Walt Whitman. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995: 27-44.
Whitman, Walt. "Beat! Beat! Drums!" The Norton Anthology: American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1995: 1004-1005.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Walt Whitman's Drum-Taps - The Personal Record of Whitman’s Wartime Experiences Walt Whitman is one of America’s most popular and most influential poets. The first edition of Whitman’s well-known Leaves of Grass first appeared in July of the poet’s thirty-sixth year. A subsequent edition of Leaves of Grass (of which there were many) incorporated a collection of Whitman’s poems that had been offered readers in 1865. The sequence added for the 1867 edition was Drum-Taps, which poetically recounts the author’s experiences of the American Civil War.... [tags: Walt Whitman Drum-Taps Essays]
995 words (2.8 pages)
- Walt Whitman is a famous poet in American history and the founder of free style of writing poem. He was well-known with his work of Leaves of Grass and Drum-Taps. Walt Whitman was inspired to write poems about Civil War and changed his style of writing after experiencing the horrible result of the war. Walt Whitman was born in West Hills, Long Island, on May 31, 1819. He is the second son of eight siblings in the family. In his early life, Whitman received a formal education until age of 11 because he needed to help his father to support the big family.... [tags: american history, poet, drum-taps]
966 words (2.8 pages)
- Walt Whitman was an unconventional poet. He developed free-verse poetry and wrote about sex and other ‘obscene’ topics. Perhaps his most interesting poems are those he wrote about war. During the Civil War Whitman was a nurse. One would expect war to be an important theme in Whitman’s poetry and indeed it is. He wrote a series of poems titled Drum Taps. Through these poems we can see Whitman’s progression as an enthusiastic citizen, an enlightened observer, and an anguished war nurse. In the beginning, at least, Whitman believed in the good that this war would bring.... [tags: Walt Whitman, Poetry, New Universe, New Jersey]
1240 words (3.5 pages)
- Comparison of pre-war Whitman and post-war Whitman Walt Whitman is considered one of the famous American writers who lived in the 19th century. The author is primarily known for his poetry, and also best known for his masterpiece, Leaves of Grass, which was published in 1855 as a collection of 12 poems. Whitman’s poems were different from those written during the era, and this is because they had a unique style, as well as a concentration of commonplace subjects. The use of commonplace subjects led to many people calling the author the “poet of democracy.” This paper compares Pre-war Whitman and Post-war Whitman.... [tags: Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, Poetry]
1343 words (3.8 pages)
- We are often unaware of the cost of war on humans. We might calculate the numerical cost of weapons and equipments, but disregard the cost of cognitive, physical, and psychological on soldiers, civilians, and the entire world. To countries in conflict, war is more than the numerical cost in dollars. War brings the most awful in mankind, additionally demonstrates our boldness, our faith, and our ability to sacrifice. It also takes so much time to recover from its effect. Arts, including poetry succeed to show the horrific meaning of the war.... [tags: Poetry, Charge of the Light Brigade, Crimean War]
1241 words (3.5 pages)
Messages of War in "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Lord Tennyson and "Dulce Et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen
- War is a controversial topic where people’s views differ at what war is, some people see it as pure evil and wicked while others think that it is brave and noble of what soldiers do. They look at poems which have been written by people affected by wars to show the contrast and the messages which are portrayed. Two poems which show different views of war are ‘the charge of the light brigade’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson and ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ by Wilfred Owen. Both these poets use linguistic devices to convince the reader of their view of what the war is.... [tags: war, Charge of the Light Brigade, Alfred Lord Tenn]
613 words (1.8 pages)
- Walt Whitman is possibly one of the best examples of an artist who drew no distinctions between art and culture. To Whitman art is culture, and culture is history. His role as an artist must then be intrinsically manifesting himself as a representative of the America masses, or express himself as America personified. He saw democracy as an inseparable attribute of Americaness. However, the America he lived in was desperately fractured amongst differing factions with different opinions on the definition of “democracy”.... [tags: Walt Whitman on Democracy ]
2891 words (8.3 pages)
- War in the poem The Charge of the Light Brigade “The Charge of the Light Brigade” is about battle and the death of soldiers, and the experience of war. Tennyson´s poem celebrates the glory of war, despite the fact that, because of an error of judgment someone had blundered, six hundred soldiers were sent to their death. The first verse starts in the middle of the action as Cardigan the commander, gives the order to charge. “Forward the light brigade charge for the gun.” This gives a sense of the excitement of the galloping horses in the cavalry charge, and sweeps the reader along, Tennysons then uses noble sounding euphemisms like “into the valley of death” to describe the fate that awaits... [tags: The Charge of the Light Brigade Poetry Essays]
644 words (1.8 pages)
- Reality of War in Crane's War is Kind and Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade An overwhelming tendency to fight and battle has plagued humankind since the dawn of the written word. Countless wars have been fought since the dawn of man and most times such conflict exists simply for its own sake with no productive end. Immense human suffering and death can be caused by conflicts that hold little logical justification. Since the birth of the written word, criticism and discussion have persistently followed the topic of war.... [tags: Charge of the Light Brigade Essays]
1827 words (5.2 pages)
- Fitzgerald’s “Taps At Reveille” During his lifetime, Scott Fitzgerald was known primarily as a short-story writer. In his twenty-year career, he published a hundred and sixty-four stories in various magazines, and forty-four were written in the last six years of his life. Published by Scribner’s in 1935, “Taps At Reveille”, a short-story collection, composed eighteen of those last efforts. Critics met it with mixed reviews: one called it “appealing”1 while another, “feeble and inadequate”1. But the 1930’s were particularly difficult years for the Fitzgeralds.... [tags: Fitzgerald Taps At Reveille Essays]
655 words (1.9 pages)
- Life of the Soul Revealed in Sailing to Byzantium and Shadows
- Triumph of Free Will in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange
- Emotion vs. Intellect in Ode to a Nightingale and Since Feeling is First
- Essay on Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Orwell's 1984
- Emptiness in The Hollow Men
- The Conscience of Dorian Gray in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray