Related Keywords

No Related Keywords

Register NowHow It Works Need Essay Need Essay
War poem comparison
0 User(s) Rated!
Words: 741 Views: 193 Comments: 0
Instructions: Analyse the poems "France" and "dulce et decorum est" Compare the meanings, themes, attitudes, format and language of the two poems bringing out the similarities and differences between the two poems. Use quotations to support your answers. These two poems were both written in the First World War but at very different times as the mood of the poems change dramatically. E.g. "France" was written in the very early stages of the war where the mood was very optimistic and victorious. "Dulce" was written by a poet that experienced what actually happened in the later stages of...
the war and therefore have different attitudes towards it. Also the last line of each poem has an effect on the whole poem, in "France", "Voices of victory and delight" meaning that it is a privilege to fight, die, and win the war for your country, whereas in "Dulce", "The old lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori", meaning, it is sweet and fitting to for ones country. To me, they both end with almost the same line, with the same approach, very ironic and deep, from the heart.

"Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori"

Become A Member Become a member to continue reading this essay orLoginLogin
View Comments Add Comment

' The Darkness Out... ' The Darkness Out There' written by Penelope Lively is a twentieth century story about a girl called Sandra who over a trip to an old lady's house realises that appearances can be deceiving and learns not to be so prejudge mental to people. She learns to be more mature and less naïve. Old Mrs Chundle' is a pre-twentieth century tale about a curate who through an encounter with an old woman realises that he did not live up to the good person he had always imagined he had been, and also he feels guilty as a result of his wrong actions. The beginning of 'The Darkness Out There' is a contrast to the title with descriptions of the country and also of the old woman Mrs Rutter. 'Brushing through the grass, polleny summer grass that glinted in the sun.' This is your first impression of the surroundings Sandra travels through and an example of the contrasting descriptions compared to the gloomy title. Sandra has a strong pre-conception of old people being innocent and sweet who deserve to be treated well. 'They were really sweet, the old people.' Her pre-conceptions are down to her innocence of being young and of her naivety too. Sandra's natural assumption is that she assumes she is doing a good job giving up her time for the old people who deserved to be assisted. However as soon as Sandra gets a glimpse of Packer's End the author changes the feeling of the story to dark and gloomy descriptions of the area, 'It was a rank place' for example. This idea of the area given to the readers creates the impression that the 'darkness out there' in this story is Packers End and gives a false illusion or pre-conception that the story is morally and fully based around it. The transition from the pleasant descriptions of the countryside to the of Packer's End is quite blunt with one significant quote 'the light suddenly shutting off the bare wide sky of the field. Packer's End.' This quote is effective because it shows the change in mood and description. It also shows that Packer's End is the darkness out there in Sandra's mind too. You get the impression of Sandra's fear by the comments made like 'she wouldn't go in there for a thousand pounds', which shows you the extent that she would go to in order to avoid approaching it. There are also many descriptions describing Sandra's impressions of fear of the area like ' the greyness you couldn't quite see into the clotted shifting depths of the place.' This quote not only shows Sandra's fears but also describes the 'darkness out there' as if until you look closer you cannot tell what it is. This relates back to the pre-judgemental attitude Sandra has towards Mrs Rutter and Kerry at the start of the story. Sandra is scared of Packer's End because of all the tales that people had told her as a child like the ghostly presence of German aircrew, and recently the story of the girl that was raped and attacked there. Note that after many of the stories are told they end with 'people said'. This suggests that Sandra does not really have an entire mind of her own and that people are influential in her thinking, which is probably why she is still afraid of Packer's End. As a child she was, and still is, afraid of the ghostly place with wolves. But going into her teens it was mainly the Nazi plane and the rape that daunts her because they were more realistic things. Others again influence her on the supposed rape incident too. ' There was this girl, people at school said"¦' This quote gives evidence of her listening to what 'people' told her and she appears to be very gullible, which makes her more naïve of the real life and Packer's End Sandra has an idyllic life as her dream for the future for example travelling to perfect places you can get. 'She would go to places like on travel brochures and run into a blue sea'. As this shows she with other younger people dream of not the real world with financial problems and divorce but a flawless lifestyle where nothing could go wrong. Sandra also dreams of having a perfect home and location and a handsome husband. 'Two children, a boy and a girl. Children with fair and shiny hair like hers and there would be this man"¦' This quote portrays the lifestyle that she would like and shows her assumption that it will happen. However Sandra overlooks any possibility that some of her ideas could become flawed. But on the other hand she does seem to take her future seriously however naïve she may be. Compared to Kerry Stevens' realistic plan for life hers is like a dream because Kerry seems to have his feet firmly on the ground. The writer uses Sandra's ideas of her storybook future to further give evidence of he naivety, and by using comparisons to Kerry's future further shows how much her head appears to be up in the clouds. Kerry Stevens does not make a good impression on Sandra in terms of appearance because he was not the best looking person and the writer shows Sandra's judgemental attitude by her initial opinions of Kerry at a first glance. 'Some people you only have to look at to know they're not up to much.' This quote shows her opinions of not Kerry but also of the way she views other people as well. The way the writer has shown Sandra's judgemental side is to also show a contrast in the story to give evidence of change in her character later on in the story. Sandra has a good view of Mrs Rutter mainly because of the portrayal of the woman being 'really sweet, lots of the old people.' This is her pre-conception before she even sees the old lady. This gives us a good understanding of not only her judging character towards appearances of people but also portrays judgement of personality for the first time also. Sandra thinks that Mrs Rutter is a very nice lady because of her friendly initial welcome to her, which is understandable because not only does the writer make Sandra think this but the reader also, perhaps to deceive us about Mrs Rutter's personality and to make ourselves pre- conceive her character too. 'A creamy smiling pool of a face in which her eyes snapped and darted.' This quote gives the impression of a plump, harmless old woman, which the writer purposely wants us the reader and Sandra to think for the deception that occurs later on in the tale. The writer encourages us, Sandra and Kerry also to feel sympathy towards her because of the fact that she is alone and her husband's death in the war was very tragic. 'He was in one of the first campaigns in Belgium, and he never came back.' The way that Mrs Rutter describes his death creates sympathy naturally and the fact she has been alone for years makes you feel sorry for her further. The writer also creates more sympathy when we learn that she was childless and regrets it because she feels it a loss not to have had any. It is more shocking to learn about what Mrs Rutter did because of the circumstances that her husband died in. You would have thought that considering he was gunned down in the same way as the German that she would have had more sympathy towards the man. However instead of giving him a chance to live, Mrs Rutter's coldness and nastiness allowed him to suffer. At this point we see a change in the story where we the reader, Sandra and Kerry see her in a different perspective to what we initially thought of her apart from Kerry, who had a slight suspicion about of her to begin with. You can at this point refer to another novel, which sends out a particular message about people. In Lord of the Flies written by William Golding the main concept and moral to the story is that whoever we are there is the potential for evil within us all. 'Dot said he wasn't going to last long, good job too, three of them that'll be.' This quote shows how unconcerned they were about an injured man that they could save from death. The writer shows Mrs Rutter's coldness by the way that the old woman narrates her story. Mrs Rutter tells the story in a manner- of- fact way and is not bothered or affected by the events. This makes us disgusted because she does not see how inhumane it was to have done such a thing. 'Tit for tat I said'. This quote gives evidence of Mrs Rutter seeing what they did as revenge or out of bitterness for the German's killing her husband, which may be the motive for her horrific actions. This quote shows us that Mrs Rutter has no feeling of guilt or remorse and by showing us this, the writer makes us feel more horrified of what she and her sister did. 'The boy's spoon clattered to the floor; he did not move.' This quote gives evidence to us of Kerry's stunned reaction to Mrs Rutter in the way that he was so shocked he could not move. He is also sickened by the fact that that Mrs Rutter thinks that it is something normal for a person to do. 'You had this coming to you mate, there's a war on.' 'It was what everyone said in those days.' These quotes show that she thought it was humane and acceptable for anyone to do. She used this expression that people had said to justify her actions, but even though people said this would they have left a helpless man to die? To show that Sandra has changed the writer illustrates the better points of Packer's End to make her realise that it is not a bad place or most importantly 'the darkness out there'. 'Birds sang. There were not, as the girl the girl realised wolves, witches or tigers.' This shows us her realisation that there is nothing to be scared of as she first thought. The writer also by her new view of Packers End shows that she is less naïve of the place and that she has opened her eyes to reality more. Sandra has also grown up in other ways by learning not to pre-judge people as she did with Mrs Rutter and Kerry. She has realised that it is not appearances that matter but what is inside also, with Mrs Rutter perceived as being a sweet woman but revealing to be a cruel hearted and bitter woman. 'You could get people all wrong, she realised with alarm.' This quote gives evidence of her realising how wrong her pre-conceptions have been, and her concern of this shows also that she has grown up because of her recognition of this. The writer also emphasises her changes in character by her recognition also of Kerry Stevens not seeming as bad as he looks. 'He had grown; he had got older and larger. His anger eclipsed his acne"¦' This quote shows Sandra looking at Kerry from a different perspective to the scruffy, dodgy type that she previously thought he was. Sandra overall has discovered that the darkness out there is not Packers End but the cold-heartedness and evil that is present within some people. Referring back to William Golding's point that 'the potential for evil is within us all'; the evil was within the innocent looking Mrs Rutter. As a result of these events and changes in character she has become less naïve about things unlike before, which may change her overall attitudes to life and become more wary of the real world. In 'Old Mrs Chundle' our first real impression of the woman is that she is quite stubborn and a grumpy old lady, and when approached by the Curate she quite unwelcoming. 'A sour look crossed her face'. This quote gives evidence of our initial opinion of her and the writer shows her character to be like this through her actions and expressions rather than through her looks in the 'Darkness out there.' 'I tell 'ee 'tis two pence and no more!' This is an example of this where she seems rude and stubborn through her actions here when talking to the Curate. 'Old Mrs Chundle is a pre-19th century text and is reflected in the language used and the actions of the characters. ' I suppose 'tis the wrong sort, and that ye would sooner have bread and cheese?' This quote shows the different style of language used in the story with 'ye' instead of you and 'tis used instead of it is. Also the actions of the characters in the story reflect the older period when it was written. 'The lunch hour drew on, and he felt hungry. Quite near him was a stone "“built old cottage of respectable and substantial build, he entered and was received by an old woman.' This quote gives evidence of an out of character action in today's society hence showing that this was written pre-19th century. No one today would do that and would instead go to a fast food restaurant or to their own homes for example. There is a contrast in our first impressions that we get of the two old ladies in both stories. Mrs Rutter appears to be a nice, old woman, whilst Mrs Chundle seems to us rather rude. Thomas Hardy has done the same as Penelope Lively in creating a sort of perception for us of a character and then deceives us later in terms of who turns out to be the changed persona and who we pre-conceive. In this case the changed persona is the Curate and our pre-conception is of Mrs Chundle. The Curate seems very shocked at how Mrs Chundle could lie to him and pre-judges her motives for doing this. 'Wicked old woman. What can she think of herself for such deception?' But despite this he still tries to get her to church as a challenge and because its his sort of responsibility. 'I think it was a culpable, unkind thing of you.' This shows the determination of the Curate by confronting her on the matter. Mrs Chundle agrees to attend church firstly because of the trouble that the curate is willing to, with the ear trumpet for her to attend church. After the trumpet failing he comes up with a sound tube system to again enable her to hear the sermon. The writer makes us feel that the Curate is a good man by illustrating the trouble that he went to for Mrs Chundle to attend church. 'At great trouble to himself.' The way that the Curate tries everything to help her, the writer shows that he is quite devoted to helping the woman when no one else has ever attempted to. The writer shows the change in the Curate's character by his ignorance of the old lady in the sermon. He blocks up the tube after her bad smell lingers up the tube towards him. 'Desperately thrusting his thumb into the hole'. This quote shows that the Curate is being very intolerant and has at this point no concern about the old woman, only himself. The Curate is also shown to be self conscious about himself because he has blocked up the pipe probably to avoid further embarrassment towards himself in church. To the Curate's total dismay Mrs Chundle is very overjoyed by her ability to hear clearly. ' I shall come every Sunday morning reg'lar, now, please God.' This shows her new enthusiasm about church, and the writer illustrates this by using strong words in her dialogue for example 'Please God'. After Mrs Chundle attends church regularly the writer shows a transition in the Curate's character. 'I cannot stand this I shall tell her not to come.' This quote shows how rude and inconsiderate he is becoming after his encounters with Mrs Chundle. We also see the Curate setting out to reverse what he had been doing just to stop Mrs Chundle bothering him. He becomes very selfish because he is only considering the consequences of removing the pipe on his part and not hers. For example he simply thinks of no embarrassment at his sermons and no bother, not that the old woman would be unhappy, lonely and not be able to attend something that she enjoys.' I've promised to go and read to her but I shan't go.' The writer also illustrates the Curate to be a very angry man by showing how he puts off a simple task of going to see Mrs Chundle and again does not consider how rude it is towards the old woman. He was described as being 'vexed' about the matter viewing it as an ordeal for himself. He is shown once again by his actions in this story to being a very selfish man and inconsiderate of other people's feelings. The writer builds up the guilt the Curate should feel after Mrs Chundle's death by putting the emphasis on Mrs Chundle's circumstances of death. She became ill partly because perhaps she did not want to let the Curate down after all the trouble that he had went to for her. ' She harried overmuch, and runned up the hill.' 'It upset her heart.' This quote shows the trouble that Mrs Chundle had gone to, to get to church on time so she did not miss the Curate's sermon. The writer also creates the guilt by the way that Mrs Chundle did not assume that he did not come for bad reasons as she said that he was so loyal to her. This creates guilt by the fact that Mrs Chundle thought so well of him. 'You were so staunch and faithful in wishing to do her good.' This quote emphasises how well she thought of him and how loyal she considered the Curate to be, and it also shows that she had no doubt at all that he was being unkind towards her in any way. The writer finally emphasises the point of guilt concerning the will by the words that Mrs Chundle said to the woman as she handed over the will to give to the Curate. 'He's a man in a thousand. He's not ashamed of an old woman"¦' This quote gives evidence that Mrs Chundle considers him very considerate and kind, when told this the Curate must have felt not only guilt but also moved too. This is because of the way that she thought of him so highly. Also the amount of possessions that Mrs Chundle had left the Curate shows a lot. Firstly it made him realise that he was the only friend that she had and did not have much in her life at all. It also shows that he must have meant a lot to her for her to leave him with everything that she owned. 'On opening it he found it to be what she called her will, in which she'd left him her"¦' This quote shows the extent at which she had given him in return for the good ways she had thought that the Curate treated her. The way that Mrs Chundle died and the will for example, are used by the writer to make us assume that the Curate will be guilty, shocked and upset over her death. This is also because of the way that he treated her. However judging by the ending the Curate does not seem very flustered by everything and is very calm apart from a tear in his eye. The writer uses 'like Peter' to compare what the Curate has done with Peter before the death of Christ. The correlation is that they both betrayed Mrs Chundle and Christ, which is effective because Hardy shows the extent of the Curate's unkindness further. 'And as he went his eyes were wet"¦' This quote shows to us that the Curate is moved in some way by what has happened. Although he prays we assume for forgiveness and Mrs Chundle, will he change for the future or does he consider that a prayer of repentance will be good enough and he will no longer feel any more guilt? ' He rose brushed the knees of his trousers, and walked on.' This quote at the end does suggest that now he has prayed for his sins that he can carry on normally, and that the Curate has not really learnt his lesson. At this point we as the reader are expected to be and are very sympathetic towards Mrs Chundle and only contempt towards the Curate. Therefore you can clearly see that again the writer has created a reversal in character feeling, because we liked the Curate at first as he went to all the trouble for Mrs Chundle. However he reversed in to a rude and inconsiderate man. Whereas we initially thought Mrs Chundle was rude but she turned out to be a kind and thoughtful woman. In 'The Darkness Out There' and 'Old Mrs Chundle', both writers have created a good effect of deception where the Sandra and we the reader are surprised in the change in character of Mrs Rutter, Mrs Chundle and the Curate. As a result of the encounters with these two old women, both of the main characters have changed in different ways. During the story the curate changed from being a kind-hearted man to being rude, selfish and ignorant towards Mrs Chundle. The Curate like Sandra was also naïve himself because he could not realise how his bad actions were affecting the old woman. He does change a little because he realises what his duties are as a Curate and in future how far he should take them, like not interfering so much with others. Sandra has changed her view on life by being more realistic about things rather than having her head up in the clouds so much. She is also less naïve about people and has learned not to be so pre-judgemental about people and that looks can be deceiving. The writer shows Sandra's change in character by comparing her views of Packers End before and after she has changed in attitude to emphasise the fact that she has grown up more.   

' The Darkness Out There' written by Penelope Lively is a twentieth century story about a girl called Sandra who over a trip to an old lady's house realises that appearances can be deceiving and learns not to be so prejudge mental to people. She learns to be...

Words: 3846 View(s): 1394 Comment(s): 0
In 1798 a new era... In 1798 a new era began in English poetry called the Romantic age. This age provoked the thinking of new radical ideas and thoughts and the writing of these ideas in poems. The poets included Samuel T Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and William Wordsworth. Some of their ideas and thoughts include: Rebellion against tyrannical and despotic governments and leaders. These feelings were inspired by the recent French and American revolutions. Strong sense of beauty in the natural world around them. Some romantic poets even took to worshipping nature! Sympathy with poor, humble people. Vivid imaginations. The Romantic poets often made fantastic new ethereal worlds. Interest in ancient legends and traditions. A sense of melancholy and loneliness. They often expressed much vitality and emotion in their works. In this essay I will try to see if the romantic poem I will be examining has these ideas incorporated in it. The two poems I will be looking at are both on war but by different authors, with different ideas about war, in different times. I shall examine 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', by Alfred Lord Tennyson and 'Dulce et Decorum est', by Wilfred Owen. I will compare the two poet's attitudes towards war by examining the context, structure style and language of both poets. The first poem I will be examining is 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The poem is a secondary account of the infamous charge the English Light Brigade made on the 25th October 1854 in the Battle of Balaclava which was part of the Crimean War. To examine the poem we need to know the historical background of the things it is describing. To put it plainly the Crimean War really had nothing whatsoever to do with Great Britain. It was a war between Turkey and Russia but as Britain was sided with Turkey and did not want Russia to find a colonial interest in British India, Britain helped to fight Russia. Now back to the actual Charge of The Light Brigade. The Charge went wrong because a military leader Lord Cardigan, interpreted the wrong orders from his superior Lord Raglan. The Brigade ended up charging into the wrong valley and came face to face with the Russian Artillery. They were mowed down mercilessly Alfred Lord Tennyson was not a soldier in the Light Brigade, he wasn't in any of the armed forces and he wasn't even present at the battle. In actual fact Tennyson was the Poet Laureate of Britain and was inspired to write the poem based on a newspaper article he had read on the Charge. The main idea Tennyson is providing in his poem is the fact that he thinks the Light Brigade should be honoured by everyone and his poem is one way of honouring them. He is also using the Romantic notion of dying in battle being very heroic. The tone of the poem actually surprised me. I thought it would be like a sombre epitaph, written on a gravestone style but in fact it seems to have the feel of a funeral party which is celebrating the bravery and life of the Light Brigade rather than being sunk in thoughts of death. The poem it self is written in six stanzas of varying lengths. This reminds me of six scenes in a movie, the middle ones being a climax and the ones leading up to it slowly setting the scene for a big showdown. The ones after the climax seem to be the 'calm after the storm' and quietly conclude the poem. The rhyming in this poem is few and irregular but repetition is used a lot in this poem stanzas one, three and five, and it adds to the war theme of this poem e.g. Stanza 1: if you say the 'half a leagues' out loud and fairly fast it will sound like galloping horses, i.e. the Light Brigade itself who were cavalry. I think this is a very good use of literary rhythm and think it's very clever. I will now go through the poem thoroughly and pick out important words and language devices. Firstly I believe the narrator of the poem knew from the beginning that the Light Brigade were doomed as he uses the phrase 'into the valley of death rode the six hundred', line 7. The use of 'valley of death' is actually an allusion to Psalm 23 of the Bible. In this verse it carries on to say 'I will fear no evil as you are with me'. I find this ironic as the Bible is saying that God will protect them but in actual fact the Light Brigade was annihilated. Another thing I find good about this poem is the fact that Tennyson tries to make the poem sound as realistic as possible and is trying to draw the reader in. This is evident from the fact that he uses 'charge for the guns!' line 6 as the command for the Light Brigade. This sounds very real and militaristic and makes the reader feel as though they really have been sucked into a battlefield rather than something like 'then they charged'. Tennyson being a Romantic poet uses many Romantic ideas in this poem. For example when he says 'their's not to make reply"¦their's but to do and die', he is saying that even though someone's made a mistake and the soldiers know it they, they will still carry out their orders, bravely, even though they will die in the process. While Tennyson believes the Light Brigade are being very heroic he doesn't believe that this is a fairy tale and none of them will die or get injured. This is proved in lines 18, 19 and 20 when the poet says 'cannon to the left/cannon to the right/ cannon to the front of them'. We can gather that having cannons blowing off in front of a group of men with horses is not the best tactic for the British as most of the will die or get injured from having 14 pound iron balls hitting them. Another Romantic notion Tennyson is using is the idea of not giving up whatever happens, even death. For example in line 22 he writes that the Light Brigade were 'stormed at with shot and shell'. This means that even though the soldiers are dying, being injured and watching their comrades fall, each one continues his job to the end. Even today we find this idea romantic and heroic, how many hundreds of movie battle scenes have guys with 6 arrows in them still fighting. Even Tennyson's idea of the Light Brigade's weapons is Romantic: They are described as having 'sabres' line 27, which may not sound especially romantic, but he could have simply described them as swords. Sabres are traditionally from Arabia and Persia, countries with very big romantic connotations themselves, think Arabian Nights and Omar Khayaam. Therefore I believe that the word 'sabre' is very well used and very subtly put. Also the style of fighting in Tennyson's is different: while today we will shoot at an enemy soldier or throw a grenade at him, the Light Brigade weren"t doing that; they were 'flashing their sabres bare'line 27. Well it was the Romantic era of warfare as well as we have mentioned. No nuclear bombs, poison gasses or rocket propelled grenades; instead we have velvet uniforms with ornately decorated pistols, curved sabres, medals glinting in the sun and brave battle horses. However Tennyson wants us to believe that the Light Brigade held out for a long time and fought their hardest and were winning some of the time. This is proved when he writes that the Russian troops have been left 'shattered and sundered' line 36. This is good because it makes the reader hope that the Light Brigade has gained the upper hand and aren"t going to die. Tennyson seems to be a master of keeping the reader hooked to a poem. When he writes 'then they rode back but not/Not the six hundred', lines 37 and 38, he is telling the reader that some of the Brigade have been eliminated. He does not say all or most but he makes the reader hope and hope that only twenty or thirty have died. However as the remnants of the Light Brigade retreat back they are mowed down by cannon balls. This is proved in line 41 where Tennyson says 'cannon behind them'. The effect of this line is that the reader will be prepared for the death of the Light Brigade, which is inevitable, but it is not blunt or boring as it would be if Tennyson said 'then the last few died'. Tennyson's feelings on how heroic it is to die in battle are very different from todays. Where, in line 50, he asks 'when can their [the Light Brigade] glory fade?' it seems to be a rather stupid comment to make as these days the charge is looked at as an unsolicited disaster, Tennyson is actually calling it 'glorious' which shows how different ideas of war were in the Romantic era. We can tell, however, that Tennyson feels sorry for the Light Brigade, for example, when he uses the word 'noble' to describe them in line 55. This is good as it shows that the Light Brigade's memory is being preserved forever in a good way and not as a group of blundering idiots. To me all of Tennyson's feelings on the charge can be summed up into one word: honour as he uses in lines 53 and 54. Dying in a battle was honourable, being remembered is honourable, and being part of a massacre is honourable. I think that since Tennyson never was a soldier this romantic idea was his only opinion about wars and fighting them. However it isn't my view as we will see in the next paragraph. I definitely like this poem from a poetry point: it is well written with a good choice of words and is definitely a good and fitting tribute to the Light Brigade and no doubt they will be treated like heroes forever. However, I do not agree with the poet. I do not find dying in a war a heroic feat, unless you have saved many people in the process. I definitely do not think going to the battle field and killing other people for such a futile reason as 'protecting your allies' that heroic. Seeing people's heads and limbs flying through the air as they have been dismembered by a cannonball, and having to do that kind of thing yourself, would rather make you the victim. I certainly admire the soldier's braveness even when they knew the order was blundered, to obey unquestioningly. That is what I believe is brave, but they did not die heroically or as a sacrifice, I mean they didn't save the country, or another regiment in the process; they were simply wasted lives because of a mistake, and that is not deliberate braveness. So in that light, I believe Tennyson is wrong. Definitely the poem has made me think but only as to what I would do if I were one of the Light Brigade. The next poem I will be analysing is 'Dulce et Decorum est', by Wilfred Owen. This poem is similar to 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' in a few ways. Firstly, and most obviously, both of them are about war. However, whereas 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' contains lots of Romantic imagery and ideas this poem doesn't. Like 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. This poem also acknowledges that soldiers have a hard time in battles, especially when the odds are against them. However, in contrast to 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' Owen believes that having a hard time doesn't necessarily make you a hero. The poem 'Dulce et Decorum est' is set on a World War I battlefield. It is a first hand account Owen being a soldier in the battle and not just a newspaper reader like Tennyson! of a gas attack of which there were many in World War I. What is fundamentally important when comparing these two poems is the fact that one is from the mid 19th century while other is about 75 years later. Many things have changed, the map of the world for one: Britain now had a prosperous empire that covered a quarter of the world. Anaesthetics were being used all the time in medicine and war had also changed: soldiers didn't fight with sabres and guns that took thirty seconds to load; they used tanks, automatic rifles, machine guns and even aeroplanes. Wars were no longer arranged over vast fields, now soldiers fought and died in their hundreds of thousands, for a little, wasted patch of land ten metres square which was filled with unexploded shells and barbed wire. The main idea I think Owen is providing in his poem is the fact that wars aren't romantic, dying in a battle isn't heroic and getting yourself involved in a war should not be done for such reasons as it was in World War I looking good, being a hero, nothing else to do, etc. The tone of his poem is rather grim and when I read it I get a mental image of Owen shouting 'blast Tennyson and those callow romantics this is what war and dying in it is really like. The structure of this poem is in four stanzas and every line in the poem starting with the first, rhymes with the one after the one after it. So line 1 rhymes with line 3, line 2 with line 4, line 3 with line 5, line 5 with line 7 and so on. Generally I like poems which rhyme better than ones that don't, and at first I thought this poem didn't rhyme, but as I read it out and studied it, it fell into place. I especially like this poem because of its hidden, very creative rhyming scheme which must have been very hard for Owen to make a whole poem like this. I will now start going through the poem and picking out important and interesting words and devices. Firstly, Owen does not waste any time making it look like his brigade is living in luxury. In line 1 he uses the word 'beggars', which makes the reader think of terrible conditions, sleeping rough, disease, poverty and rags, the general things which are associated with homeless people. He also goes on and shows his brigade's condition is not like what would be expected for a 'hero'. In line 2 he calls him and his brigade 'hags' which instantly banishes thought of velvet uniforms and shiny swords like Charge of the Light Brigade. Instead it brings in thoughts of disease, rats and poverty. Owen from the outset of the poem shows this isn't going to be a romantic charge. He describes the conditions in which his brigade is walking in as 'sludge', line 2. This is good because it banishes from the reader's mind a heroic and conquering army, and instead shows one wandering through a place likened to a sewer. This idea of no gallant charges is enforced in line 5, where Owen describes them as 'marching asleep'. This shows the reader that this army is tired and sleepy and not ready to charge through enemy lines like 'the Charge of the Light Brigade'. Of course Owen is also saying that the soldier's outward appearance is shattered as well as their inward. He does this in line 5 where he says 'many had lost their boots'. Not only does this show the reader that the men are really in a poor state, but it also enforces the idea of how different this is to the pristine uniforms of the 'Light Brigade'. We can also gather ourselves from the poem the fact that walking around without boots in damp, icy, slippery, rat infested trenches will give you painful infections like athlete's foot if you're lucky and more serious conditions such as frostbite if you're not so lucky. The true nature of not giving up and carrying on fighting, whatever your injury is shown by Owen in line 6 ' but men limped on blood shod'. This is good as it makes the reader understand that the romanticising of war is completely different from real life. Another idea which is visible in 'Dulce et Decorum est', but is practically invisible in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', is what will happen to the soldiers after their battles are done. In this poem, in line 6 Owen says that 'all [the soldiers] went lame, all blind'. This shows the reader that the consequences of signing up for armed combat are much more far reaching than what just happens on the battlefield: you could be maimed for life, or go blind. As I mentioned in my introductory paragraph for this poem, times have changed and weapons have evolved. Killing is no longer done with gold sabres and silver cannons. Now 'gas' line 9 is used frequently. The reader will find out war is no longer a heroic charge but a long, exhausting campaign that you have look over your shoulder, continuously for a shell with poison gas inside. Again tying in with the fact that war has far reaching consequences, we see that simply seeing your comrade's die in front of you is enough to give you psychological problems. For instance, in line 15 Owen says 'in all my dreams, before my helpless sight, he plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. Often soldiers who saw this kind of thing and were badly affected by it were sent to sanatoriums where trained army psychologists would help them get over it. Certainly nothing like this is seen in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. This is very effective piece of ammunition to use in Owens's fight against romantic ideas of war which are so far from the truth. Owen definitely is not a romantic because in his poem he provides many graphic representations which Tennyson did not. For example in line 19 he says that one of the injured soldiers had 'white eyes writhing in his face'. Owen has got to the point and hasn't dilly dallied about going on about heroics; he has got to the point and expressed his view. Again this is good as it describes the reality of getting injured in a war to the reader, and it doesn't seem very nice or heroic. Owens's view of how horribly painful war is for the soldiers is expressed and strengthened in line 22 where he describes the injured soldier as having 'froth corrupted lungs'. This will help the reader find out that the young soldiers didn't die heroically but more like horribly. If we probe a little under the surface, the word 'corrupted' could be used by Owen in a political sense and not just medical. He could be talking about how young men are corrupted by snazzy, persuasive recruitment posters, back in their homeland. According to Owen the root of the 'war is glorious' problem is traced back to childhood. In lines 25 and 26 he says 'my friend you would not tell with such high zest, to children ardent for some desperate glory'. This is good as it makes the reader think back into their own past and childhood and think of any war related triumphs or games they may have done or played. It could also be referring to the soldiers being young and naïve and the recruitment posters gradually selling them these lies, in the hope that they will join up and think they are heroes. Finally in the last line of the poem goes as far as to say that dying as a hero and dying for honour in battle are downright lies. In lines 27 and 28 he says 'the old Lie: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori'. This phrase means 'it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country' and was first used by the Roman playwright Horace thousands of years ago. It is still quoted by military leaders today in basic training and before battles. I think Owens's view on this phrase is that it is very dangerous and should not be told especially to 'desperate and impressionable children'. This point of view is a hundred percent different to Tennyson's and I need not explain why. I like this poem not only as a piece of good poetry like 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' but also its morals and the poet's beliefs are that of mine unlike 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. It is very effective in carrying across its message of war being bad and not being honourable to die in one. It shows you that the poet thinks young men are lured into war by generals who just sit on the sidelines and will die healthily in their sleep decades after the war. It shows us what happens to the ordinary men who join up, their expectations from childhood and the real thing. This poem has also made me understand something I wondered about before reading it: why there are people whose jobs are army psychologists and why there are buildings used by the military called sanatoriums. As I come to the end of my essay I've learnt two very important points of view that were used in the past. Firstly about the chivalrous Romantic era on which countless war movies have such ideas in. Honour and fighting till the end whatever the outcome are the main ideas. This will certainly appeal to people who want to hold that point of view but for a realist like me I see through the flashing sabres and the valley of death and see butchered men and mourning families at home. Tennyson never incorporates that in his poem. Secondly I come to the deeply dark and realist first hand views of Owen who explains to me the real story and no beating about the bush. His views are crystal and have made me think rather than the non human termed, honour for our land thoughts of Tennyson. Owen actually made me think about the men being the uniforms. To sum up I like both poems very much but it's clear to me what's real and what's not, what's about human beings and not 'soldiers' and all the word suggests brave, never sick, willing to die and finally what's moral to me as a human and what's not.   

In 1798 a new era began in English poetry called the Romantic age. This age provoked the thinking of new radical ideas and thoughts and the writing of these ideas in poems. The poets included Samuel T Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and William Wordsworth. Some of their ideas and...

Words: 3781 View(s): 264 Comment(s): 0