Comparing Dulce Et Decorum Est And The Charge Of The Light Brigade

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World War 1 definitely caused a shift in the way war stories were written, which is exemplified by Lord Alfred Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade” compared to Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce Et Decorum Est.” “The Charge of the Light Brigade” tends to focus on glorifying the soldiers that bravely battled and gave their lives for a cause, while “Dulce Et Decorum Est” questions why soldiers are praised and even encouraged to go to war. The language used in “The Charge of the Light Brigade” is more positive and uplifting, which is shown when he writes, “Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell” (l. 23-25). While the subject of this line is bleak, telling of how soldiers headed straight towards their deaths, the…show more content…
In contrast to this, “Dulce Et Decorum Est” begins with the lines “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge” (l. 1-2). The word choice has a much more negative atmosphere associated with it and the alliteration present gives the poem a much harsher tone. The purpose of Tennyson’s poem appears to be about honoring courageous soldiers, while Owen’s poem wants to display the horrors of war and discourage men from fighting. The endings to both poems vastly differ from each other in that one respects heroes, while the other does not. The final lines of “The Charge of the Light Brigade” are “Honor the charge they made! Honor the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!” (l. 53-55). Tennyson seems to be praising the soldiers and applauding them for fighting even though they knew they might perish. He focuses on the glory that comes with service to one’s country, while Owen focuses on quite the opposite. He concludes “Dulce Et Decorum Est” by writing, “The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro Patria mori” which translates to “It is sweet and proper to die for one’s country” (l. 27-28). He is saying this line is false and believes that telling young men that it is honorable to go
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