Aqa Assessment English 2012-2013: How Is Conflict Portrayed in the Poems in the Conflict Section?

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How is Conflict Portrayed in the Poems in the Conflict Section?

The nature of conflict is a clash or coming together. There are many different types of conflict; it can come in varying scales of size and intensity. For example something which starts off as a family feud may end up as a World War. We can look at the causes of conflict, what actually happens or the effects. Tennyson’s ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ paints a picture of the glory and honour of soldiers in battle as it happens. It describes an incident during the Battle of Balaklava during the Crimean War. Sheers’ ‘Mametz Wood’ focuses on the aftermath and futility of war. Hughes' 'Hawk Roosting' looked at the causes of conflict, someone who has power but wants more and does not think about the effects of what they are about to do on others. Another poem by Hughes is 'Bayonet Charge' where there is a soldier in battle trying to escape from getting shot.

Tennyson’s poem observes the battle from a distance as if he had a good viewpoint. He was not a participant like the poems of Wilfred Owen or Rupert Brook who wrote their poems and died in the trenches of the First World War. Tennyson sets the scene of battle and creates the atmosphere for ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ by the form and structure of the poem. The six stanzas have a clear and powerful dactylic rhythm, representing the galloping hooves of the horses as they race into battle. The reader is carried along with the flow of the poem and the energy of the battle, which is emphasised by repetition, from the first two lines of the first stanza of the poem: “Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward.” A sense of involvement is created for the reader by repetition such as “cannon” suggesting the relentless assault from all sides “Cannon to the right of them, Cannon to the left of them, Cannon in front of them” which emphasises the dangers faced by the cavalry and their great bravery.

The contrast could not be greater in ‘Mametz...
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