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Similarities and Differences between the Poem Dulce Et Decorum Est and Charge of the Light Brigade

By pricey95 Jan 23, 2011 948 Words
“Dulce et Decorum est” and “Charge of the Light Brigade”

These two poems have a lot of similarities and differences between them. “Charge of the Light Brigade” is a pro war poem and shows admiration for the young men, it is a third person narrative based on the Crimean war from 1854-1856. “Dulce et Decorum est” shows concern for the men that are risking their lives; it is a first person narrative which Owen experienced in the First World War battlefields from 1914-1918. “Charge of the Light Brigade” is a poem based on the article “Hurrah! For the life of a soldier”. “Dulce et decorum est” is a poem that is shown from one person point of view as Owen experienced war himself. “Dulce...” is a strong, graphical poem which is shown in a sarcastic way. The title “Dulce et Decorum est” is very ironic as it means it is a sweet and honourable thing to die for ones country. The first line of the poem is very unusual as he uses a simile to describe the men, “Bent double, like old baggers under sacks”. Owen uses this phrase to make the reader feel as if the men have been changed by war into animals. Owen uses the line “Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs” to put an image in the readers mind of a ghostly atmosphere of the battlefield with the flares flying in the air. He also uses the word “haunting” to suggest the men are haunted by what they have seen; this would also make the reader feel agitated. Owen uses metaphors to show the reader how horrible war can be. “Men marched asleep”. This metaphor is used to show the reader that the soldiers are worn out, that they are crawling off the front line of the battlefield. Owen puts the first stanza in past tense to put the reader in the soldier’s shoes.

In stanza two, Owen opens with capital letters and explanation marks to emphasize that there is shouting. “GAS! Gas! Quick boys!”. Owen uses this to grab the reader’s attention, by talking about a horrific gas attack. He also uses this to make the reader feel the horror of what is happening. It could be suggested that Owen uses the word “boys” to say that they are not old enough to be in the war. Owen then uses a sentence to describe the equipment. ”Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time”. Owen uses this to describe to the reader that the equipment is useless, to make the reader feel anger towards the government for not spending more money on the equipment they use. A simile is used in the second stanza to describe a man that is suffering. “And floundering like a man in fire or lime”. Owen uses this to make the reader feel horrified by what is happening to the man whose life is being taken away. The simile compares the man to a fish out of water. The third stanza is a very small stanza because Owen describes what he can see in his dreams. “In all my dreams, before my helpless sight”. Owen uses this to make the reader visualise that he cannot do anything, that he is in fact helpless. He also uses the word “helpless” to suggest to the reader that he cannot get this disturbing image out of his mind. In the second line Owen uses verbs to describe how the man reacts. “He plunges at me, guttering, chocking, drowning”. Owen uses this to alarm the reader in what is happening. He uses the word “guttering” to compare the man as to be a candle which is flickering about to lose its flame. In the final stanza, Owen starts by describing how the injured soldier is dealt with. “Behind the wagon that we flung him in”. Owen uses this to shock the reader, using the word “flung” is suggesting that human life is cheap.

Owen then uses similes to compare the man’s features to horrible things. “His hanging face, like a devils sick of sin”, “Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud”. This makes the reader feel sorrow for the man as his life has been taken away. Owen uses two specific sentences to put an image in the readers mind. “Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs”, “Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues”. These sentences put brutal images of death in the readers mind and make the reader feel war is not noble. Owen uses two words to directly address the reader. “My friend”, this will stand out to the reader because the reader knows he is not writing to a friend, he is being sarcastic by sending a message to the people at home such as the government and parents. “Charge of the Light Brigade” is a euphemistic poem with a rhythm. Tennyson starts with a fast pace to get into the rhythm of the poem.”Half a league, half a league Half a league onward”. This is in direct contrast to Owens poem as Tennyson starts with a positive rhythm, were as Owen starts with a negative simile. A metaphor is put in to describe the battlefield the soldiers are about to enter. “All in the valley of death”, even though it is a graphical metaphor about the bloody battlefield the reader feels honour for the soldiers. Tennyson puts an order into the poem to show that the soldiers have no fear. “Forward the Light Brigade, Charge for the guns he said”. Tennyson uses this to make the reader feel admiration for the soldiers by making out they are fearless.

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