Analysis of Three War Poems - Charge of the Light Brigade, Dulce and Decorem Est and A speech from Henry V

Essay by basyHigh School, 11th grade January 2005

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Comparison of Three Poems

The three poems that I am going to compare are:

1A speech of Henry V before the battle of Harfleur William Shakespeare

2'The Charge of The Light Brigade'

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

3'Dolce Et Decorum Est'

Wilfred Owen

Each of these poems were written in different centuries and show the changing ideas of war. Henry V speech was written in the late 16th century when it was considered an honour to go and die for your country whilst you were protecting it from invaders. It was written to rouse the troops before the battle of Harfleur; it achieves this through guilt, 'Dishonour not your mothers', and patriotism. ''The Charge of The Light Brigade'' was written in the mid 17th century and shows the lack of respect for life of the men who were fighting as 'Theirs but to do and die' and not to question their orders no matter what the cost.

It was written about the cavalry charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War, it was written to inform the public of what happened and why so many men (487) died. ''Dolce Et Decorum Est'' was written at the beginning of the 20th century about the gas attacks and the conditions of the First World War that the men had to survive in. It was written to tell people about the hardships and the tragedies that were suffered as they fought.

The three war poems are all very different in both writing styles and the reaction that the readers experience during and after reading the poems are also very different. My gut reaction to the speech from 'Henry V' was to be roused into battle and want to go and fight for my country with the other 'good yeomen' of the times.