The Portrayal Of War In Dulce Et Decorum Est & Charge Of The Light Brigade

Essay by stephw72High School, 11th gradeA+, January 2008

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Tennyson's Charge f The Light Brigade and Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est both explore warfare. However they each have significant differences. Charge Of The Light Brigade was written in the 18th Century and is about the Crimean War. It explains, in a very majestic manner, that fighting in a war is something every soldier should be extremely proud of. Sacrifices have to be made and bravery is an absolute necessity. Tennyson ignores the darkness and slaughter of war by emphasising the courage and loyalty that the soldiers have for their country. They do not show fear, even when they are attacked with weapons much greater and deadlier than their own. Dulce Et Decorum Est was written in the 20th Century. It depicts war, in this case WW1, an exact opposite to Charge Of The Light Brigade. Owen wants to dispel the lie that describes war as a place of pride and brightness, when in reality it is a place of bloodshed and obscurity.

Owen knows first hand the devastation of combatting in war because he experienced it himself; therefore he ridicules the renowned title 'Dulce Et Decorum Est', which means 'it is sweet and fitting' by recounting the horrifying scenes that he has unfortunately witnessed, and consequently leads his poem to a clever conclusion involving the Latin phrase.

Ducle Et Decorum Est opens with a very striking line, 'Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,' and although we do not know what or who is being compared to this unpleasant description, it is already clear that this poem is not going to praise war but harshly criticise it. The next line, 'Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,' again draws a terrifying picture in our minds. We are still unsure of what the poem is actually...