"Dulce Et Decorum Est"& "The Charge of the Light Brigade" - Poem Comparing and Contrasting Essay

1179 Words Mar 4th, 2008 5 Pages
War is a subject that often stirs upon many emotions with those directly or indirectly involved. It may bring tears, memories of suffering and loneliness, struggles, or victories. Such disturbance of peace has wounded and killed many souls. It is on the battlefield we see the most hideous side of human nature, for every soldier's only objective on the battlefield is to survive and win. Many people have opposing views about wars which may have been developed over time based on many factors such as family upbringing, culture, political views, or personal experiences. In the two poems studied, Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum est" and Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade", war has been described with completely opposing …show more content…
Charge for the guns, he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred." (Tennyson, 1-8) The use of repetition in this quotation assisted in giving a sense of anticipation as well as creating a vivid imagery of the bravery of the soldiers, and building up tension as they move forward into the valley of Death.

Not only do Owen's and Tennyson's depictions of war differ immensely, their views on a soldier's deaths hold opposing views as well. Owen describes the unsightly view of the soldier's death with a variety of metaphors and similes while Tennyson portrays a soldier's death as a glorifying and honourable event that would be perpetually celebrated. Owen's poem conveys the distress of witnessing a soldier's death with tremendous details, "And watch the white eyes writhing in his eyes, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues." (Owen, 19-24) Once again Owen successfully created an emotional and meticulous imagery of the soldier's death by illustrating a strong mental image of the soldier squirming in agonizing pain. The metaphors "obscene as cancer" and "bitter as cud" instinctively connects the dreadful
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