In this essay I intend to compare the poems by historical, social and the cultural aspects of the poems,I will also examine poetic language in the poems. I have studied the poems: Dulce et decorum est, the charge of the light brigade, suicide in the trenches, the man he killed and in Flanders field.
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE- Lord Alfred Tennyson
The first poem – the charge of the light brigade- which I have studied. In this poem lord Alfred Tennyson is describing the event in the Crimean war when a cavalry regiment of around 650 horses and 650 men misheard an order “to attack the guns” meaning to get back the guns for the Turks that the Russians were stealing, in one valley. But the order was misleading as there were two valleys one which the cavalry could see and another of which the generals wanted the cavalry to go to which was hidden from the sight of the regiment. So they assumed that to attack the guns that are protecting the city of Sebastopol. Which of course sounded like suicide but they had to follow the order so they attacked the guns and failed. To the soldiers this seemed like no mistake as they had to attack the guns and they had to follow orders. Tennyson thought the light brigade was brave to charge into the guns as a cavalry something of bravery as they were clearly going to be outmatched ( which surprisingly was against the rules of war). He shows this bravery by such quotes as “into the valley of death” this shows that the gauntlet they were about to face was going to be practically suicide for a misheard order which only 1 in 10 made it out alive so Tennyson describes it as hell and he emphasises that by saying “into the jaws of death” as the cannons were surrounding the regiment giving a more detailed description of what position they were in also he is describing that it is worse than hell. But Tennyson thinks that the fact that so many died is irrelevant and that they should be remembered as brave heroes that led a brave charge into the unknown. In the poem Tennyson uses the rhythm of the poem like the thundering of the horses charging into battle “ half a league, half a league, half a league onward” shows how the poem is fast paced like the horses. There is also alliteration “horse and hero fell” this shows that Tennyson has respect for those that died due to their efforts and their sacrifice. There is enjambment “ … soldier knew (new line) someone had blundered” this shows that the line was hurried as to try to include a detail or to miss out the ‘blundered’ bit as he doesn’t want to advertise it as a mistake ( again with a fast pace which is flowing throughout the poem). He has also included metaphors such as “into the mouth of hell” this shows that the battle was like hell, which in Victorian times religion was in everyday society so it would cause more of an impact especially in the more richer people that would be reading poems as they tended to be more religious (except the obvious nuns etc.) this poem states that war even though being bloody and brutal it can also be a heroic thing if you survive due to this conflicting opinion this poem is in contrast with the poem “dulce et decorum est” which has negative views on war.
DULCE ET DECORUM EST -Wilfred Owen
the poem ‘dulce et decorum est’ is mainly about he leading up to a gas attack, the gas attack, someone dying in the gas attack and the aftermath of the attack. The poems title ‘dulce et decorum est is sarcasm as the poem is negative while the title is positive. The poem projects Wilfred Owen’s emotions as he witnessed someone dying horribly in the gas attack. And what the person that died probably felt physically. The atmosphere created by the poem is quite a dark, dangerous type “as under a green sea, I saw him drowning” this shows that there were dangers that killed a lot of people on the battlefield and as the war progressed those deaths would become more and more horrific, creating that dark mood. There is a...
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