A Comparison Of Dulce Et Decorum Est And The Charge Of The Light Brigade

1046 words - 4 pages

A Comparison of Dulce et Decorum est and The Charge of the Light Brigade

“The Charge of the Light Brigade” written by Lord Alfred Tennyson and
“Dulce et Decorum est” written by Wifred Owen have different
perspectives of the wars as they are two different wars written at
different times. Tennyson was not at the battle and never saw or
experienced anything, which occurred. On the other hand Owen was
present and experienced everything; he saw a friend dying knowing he
was helpless to save him. Tennyson was only able to write the poem as
he read a press report and expanded on it; the press report was
written as propaganda, glorifying the British soldiers and making out
that they were all able to die for their country as their sergeant
ordered them to.

Tennyson’s use of language is very different to Owen. Owen uses more
death scenes and uses imagery to show he was there, however Tennyson
was not at the battle, and so he wrote a poem less personal. Tennyson
uses repetition frequently to show the power and force of the cavalry,
he also uses several powerful images trying to put the British in as
the winning people.

In comparison Owen uses many different rhythmic lines.

“Bent doubles, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-need, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our back

And towards our distant rest began to trudge.”

The rhythm of the language changes according to what the soldiers are
doing, there they are tired and finding it difficult to walk, their
steps are slow and laboured like language. Owen is putting across that
it is sweet and honourable to die for your country, but it is ironic,
it is a very distressing place to stay and the horrific images are
with you for life.

Owens theme of the poem is ironic as he is putting a message across to
the reader “Dulce et Decorum est,” he wants to put forward that war
has serious consequences. Owen shows us the suffering and heartache he
went through in the war and how he would like everyone to see what it
is like. However Tennyson shows the war to be a heroic event in which
you are there for you country being loyal and obedient following the
sergeant’s orders.

“Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do or die:

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.”

The soldiers would do anything and everything for their country even
if it meant dying, they would do it. This shows bravery and
determination of the British trying to kill the “Cossack and
Russians.” Due to Tennyson not being at the Crimean War he was not
fully able to visualise the imagery, negativity and feelings of all
the soldiers. In order for him to explain the path of the soldiers he
uses rhythm and repetition. “Rode the six hundred.” In each of the six
stanzas ‘Rode the six hundred’ is repeated in a similar way. Tennyson
shows the loss of the soldiers in the length of the stanzas. The first
five...

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