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Analysis Of Dulce Et Decorum Est By Wilfred Owen And Charge Of The Light Brigade By Alfred Lord Tennyson

4973 words - 20 pages

Analysis of Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen and Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson

In this essay I intend to discuss the two passionately opinionated war
poems, 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Wilfred Owen based on WW1 and 'Charge
of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson which portrays the
Crimean war against Russia. Both poems are heart wrenching, emotional
and thought provoking, and expressively highlight the issues of war,
glory, death and heroism, all in explicit detail and compelling
imagery. I shall compare how one author can see war as glorious and
exciting whereas the other empathises on suffering, injury and loss
and tells us the reality in gruesome and uninhibited detail.

I shall study how different authors present and explore the brutal
realism of war, death and glory within the context of a poem. I shall
investigate if first hand experience of war differs the authors view
and how they portray the suffering and grievance. I will find the
effects that mood, tone, the raised and ignored issues have on their
targeted audience and the vivid images created in our minds. Also, how
powerful vocabulary and successful language features help to make
these issues so powerful, I shall investigate further.

Firstly, I intend to analyse the poem 'Dulce et Decorum est' by
Wilfred Owen, this poem is his personal account of when he was
fighting in World War 1. The title, 'Dulce et Decorum est' is very
symbolic and has a poignant meaning as it is Latin for; 'It is
courageous and honorable to die for your country'. Therefore, the
reader would instantly think that this poem is going to be promoting
war as glorious and heroic and to encourage young men to go and fight,
but as you read on this is not the case as we find that Wilfred Owen
is strongly against war and all related issues. The title therefore is
not appropriate, as it does not agree with the grave issues
highlighted within the poem. The audience learns in the last three
lines why it has been presented in this fashion, Owen states, 'My
friend you would not tell with such high zest, The old lie: Dulce et
Decorum est, Pro partria mori'. Here we understand that 'dying for
your country is heroic' is a lie. This technique cleverly links the
apposing title with the strongly opinionated poem, it helps the poem
and issues stay in the readers mind and are very thought provoking.

There is no obvious visual structure to this poem, as there are just
three unequal stanzas, although as you read it we learn that the words
are in rhyming couplets. An example is lines one and three, both have
ten syllables in them and the last two words also rhyme, 'sacks' and
'backs'. This pattern of equal syllables and rhyming words continues
throughout the poem until we reach the line 'My friend…' where the
poem looses all rhyme and...

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