The Differing Perspectives Of War Essay

2027 WordsNov 8, 20119 Pages
What are the differing perspectives of war offered in Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade” (TCOTLB) and Owen’s “Dulce Et Decorum Est” (DEDE)? In this Essay I will be exploring the contrasting descriptions of war and why they differ. Although both poems are based around the topic of war they present it in starkly varying lights. “TCOTLB” has a very positive attitude towards war; it is portrayed as honourable and brave to die in battle. Where as “DEDE” has a bitter, miserable and depressing outlook on war. “TCOTLB” was written to honour the men who died in the Battle of Balaclava and the Crimean war. At this time martial bravery and daring were still honoured and celebrated. Often events such as the Battle of Balaclava were glorified in the first detailed newspaper reports of the time, such as William Russell’s account in “The Times”. The events were often exaggerated and the survivors were made into celebrities. As poet laureate Tennyson was expected to portray Britain in a positive and respectable light that showed it was a strong country. Tennyson wrote the poem “TCOTLB” to show what war was like, but he had never actually experienced war for himself. “DEDE” was written during WW2 when battle had changed dramatically from the time of the Crimean war. Technology and industry had produced weapons such as gas, machine guns, aeroplanes and tanks that were extremely effective. The scale of war had grown massively. The sheer numbers of men involved, due to mass conscriptions, outnumbered any pervious war. Modern warfare meant that men were now anonymous; there was no opportunity for fluid movement and acts of heroism. Honourable verses and poems could no longer be written to glorify the miserable deaths of hundreds of thousands of soldiers. The poet, Wilfred Owen, was one of the Great War poets of the time. He was an officer who fought for the best
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