Duality Of War

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Few devastating forces of humanity have such a power to create, destroy, and reshape the world as war. Large scale conflict between two groups of people not only has the power to devastate and take life, but also the power to grant jobs, prosperity, and glory to those who are brave enough to confront a great foe and emerge victorious. As a result of this duality of war, many different opinions surface throughout history based in perspective and life experience. Few of this opinions contrast as sharply as those of Wilfred Owen and Alfred Lord Tennyson, who, while both renowned poets of their time, viewed war in very different lights. Where Tennyson saw war as a glorious feat of bravery worthy of admiration, Owen believed that war was inherently …show more content…
Owen’s images of broken souls struggling for survival, described by Hughes as a “recurrent nightmare” (164), contrast sharply to the gallant heroes lauded in Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade,” who had “Flash’d as they turned in air” and “Plunged in the battery-smoke” (Tennyson 28,32). This idealistic expression of the battle that takes place in the poem serves to indicate that the soldiers, while outnumbered and doomed to certain death, are nonetheless in a position of power and prestige, and as such should be seen in a positive light as a …show more content…
Tennyson expressed a great interest in his works as a symbol of pro-war mentality, and as a result he had copies of the poem printed for the soldiers of the war in which the poem takes place to serve as an inspiration (Arnold). He also felt that the banding together of many people of different backgrounds to fight in one glorious charge encourages a feeling of brotherhood and a subsequent bonding of a nation in a time of crisis. Tennyson wanted his works to speak for the glory of battle and strength of patriotism, and as such strived for this ideal through his poetry. “The Charge of the Light Brigade” came from a mindset of nationalism and great admiration for the people who persist to defend the freedoms and uphold the ideals that Tennyson

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