November 15, 2011
Compare and Contrast “The Charge of the Light Brigade” and “Dulce Et Decorum Est”
In this essay you will notice the differences and similarities between “The Charge of the Light Brigade” and “Dulce Et Decorum Est”. “The Charge of the Light Brigade” was written in the nineteenth century by Alfred Lord Tennyson. In contrast, “Dulce Et Decorum Est” was written in the twentieth century by Wilfred Owen. The main similarity observed is that they both capture wartime experiences. However, the poets’ present these events using their own style and the effect is two completely different observations ...view middle of the document...
When in reality it is a place of carnage and apprehension. Owen's outlook of war is very different to Tennyson's as Owen feels it is inefficient and cruel on young lives. Tennyson not being present during the Crimean war is a very significant point as it changes the perspective of his poem and makes it seem as though Owen's poem is informing us with believable facts. Therefore, “Dulce Et Decorum Est” seems more powerful of the two because it appears more truthful to real life and what war is really like.
Two quotes from the poem that links to the point of brutality on many lives and indicates the innocence of the soldiers are “Gas-shells dropping softly behind” and “Incurable sores on innocent tongues”, (“Dulce Et Decorum Est”, lines 8 and 24, Wilfred Owen). When analyzing the poem it is made aware that Owen presents the reader with details of what people felt and heard. The words “dropping softly behind” suggest that the soldiers had heard the gas-shells so much that they had become used to it. It also points to the fact that their trenches were based so far that they were distant from all the shelling. Also Owen says “innocent tongues” as the soldiers did not deserve this. This links back to the fact that everyone should know the truth about war. If everyone knew then nobody would make the mistake of going there and dying in such a horrific state.
Both Owen and Tennyson have different attitudes towards the generals and this is reflected from their poems. Tennyson portrays the generals in a positive light. He does not place the blame onto the generals, who gave out the command, which resulted in so many deaths, as he says: “Someone had blunder’d” (“The Charge of the Light Brigade”, line 12). As Tennyson portrays the generals in a positive light, he wants to blame someone else for the deaths. He does not show it as the general’s mistake as he has quoted “someone”. Also the word “blunder’d” implies to a small mistake, though, sending four hundred men to their deaths is not a diminutive fault.
Owens’s attitude towards the generals is critical; though he has not spoken of this in a direct way. The purpose of Owen's poem was to show the conclusion of war but not to blame the generals. Although, Owen has cunningly hinted that it is not honorable to die for ones country in a way that the generals will think that they are blamed.
The Latin saying, "The old lie: Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori", (“Dulce Et Decorum Est”, lines 27-28, Wilfred Owen) explains that the title has a big impact on the reader due to its irony. It points out how sweet and honorable it is to die for ones country, whereas the actual poem points to the opposite. Owen has created his poem to be intentionally sarcastic to show that he is deliberately doing it. The extract is written in Latin to emphasize the generals should have done something and they are to blame for the suffering....