An Analysis of Owen’s 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and Tennyson’s 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'

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An analysis of Owen’s Dulce et Decorum est and Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light brigade

Wilfred Owen and Alfred Lord Tennyson both wrote prominent poetry on the issue surrounding war. Owen was born on the 18th March 1893. Owen experienced the war and therefore he wrote elaborate detail on life on the battlefield. One of his famous poems on the aspect of war is known as ‘Dulce et Decorum Est which means it is sweet and beautiful to die for your native land in Latin. Although the title of the poem is positive the message in the poem illuminates the negative aspects of war and is written through the eye of a soldier which is Owen himself. He relates his experience in his poem and mirrors his views negatively about war in depth. Alfred
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The message that Owen is conveying to the reader contradicts the stereotypical image of a soldier who is strong, resilient and diligent. Instead he portrays the soldiers on the battlefield as weak and fragile. This imagery can be epitomised throughout the poem, for example, in the first stanza, the similes bent double ‘like old beggars’ and ‘coughing like hags’ illustrates to the reader that the soldiers are in ill health and are physically feeling the strain the war is having on them. The first stanza enlightens the reader into understanding the routines of the soldiers on the battlefield. It gives the reader a sombre outlook of the daily life of the soldiers. This imagery is captured by the vivid description used by Owen. For example, ‘men marched asleep’ ‘limped’, ‘drunk with fatigue’ and ‘deaf even to the hoots’. This imagery provides the reader with a glum outlook of the soldiers’ situation and illustrates the extreme suffering and hardship the soldiers had to endure for their country. This theme of hardship and suffering is at the heart of Owen’s poem. This can be promulgated by the fact that the second stanza commences with a feeling of panic and confusion. This is because the soldiers are faces with a gas attack. Owen represents this incident in the start of stanza two, ‘Gas! Gas! Quick boys’ followed by the metaphor, ‘an ecstasy of fumbling’. This imagery indicates another extreme situation the

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