Comparing Dulce et Decorum Est with The Charge of The Light Brigade

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Comparing Dulce et Decorum Est with The Charge of The Light Brigade

The poems I am going to compare and contrast are "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen and "The Charge of The Light Brigade" by the Poet Laureate of his time, Lord Tennyson. These poems both have a main subject of war. The main difference though, which leads to many other differences in the two poems are that they were written very in different centuries and times.

This time difference meant approaches to war were different and hence the tones of the poems are very dissimilar. Owen is responding directly to a poem written by Jessie Pope. He was outraged at the tone of her poem. Pope was encouraging people to go to war and fight
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Both poets use sounds effects to convey the tone of the poem. In "Dulce et Decorum Est" the words "sludge" and "trudge" are used to portray the image of slow, painful effort. In "The Charge of The Light Brigade" the rhythm is used as the sound effect, the fast pace, set in threes to resemble the fast cantering pace that the cavalry entered the valley. Repetition was used again to help convey this, such as: "Cannon to the left of them, / Cannon to the right of them, / Cannon in front of them". This use of rhythm creates a swift easy to read and uplifting tone. However in Owen's poem there is not set rhythm as it would not suit the eerie atmosphere of the poem, this makes the poem relatively hard to read. Both poets use different stanza lengths, however Tennyson's are slightly more regular. They both use stanzas to change the subject within the poem. Whereas some lines are rather laborious and slow to read, others are very staccato and sharp, for example the beginning of the second stanza "Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!" A lot of punctuation is used throughout the stanza to convey a rush of emotion and desperation to survive the attack. Although short, the third stanza involves little punctuation and long descriptive verbs "plunges",