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The Charge Of The Light Brigade And Disabled

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 860
  • Category: Poems

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Charge Of The Light Brigade was written in 1854, focusing on the Battle of Balaclava (Ukraine) during the Crimean War (1853-1856). However, Disabled was written in World War 1 and focuses more on before and after the war, as well as a soliders point of view, not on a particular skirmish. Charge of The Light Brigade was written to memorialize a group of around six hundred men who were ordered into a suicidal charge against Russian militants. Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote the poem after reading an article in “The Times” newspaper about a misinterpretation of orders which sent approximately “a noble” six hundred to their deaths. He thought the misjudgement was a scandal and wanted to publicize it in a poem. Wilfred Owen was once in the war and wrote most of his poems in the trenches. He wrote the poem to emphasise the tragedy of war – injury, death etc.

Disabled is about a solider who went to war in World War 1 and had both his legs and one arm blown off. The poem is about his life before and after the injury as well as how he contrasts his life. Wilfred Owen uses the “flashback” technique for effect. Disabled has five stanzas of mostly different lengths. The punctuation makes you pause and it helps give the effect of thoughtfulness, especially in stanza four, which is covered in appropriate colons and commas. The rhyme isn’t in an exact order in this poem – it isn’t in rhyming couplets or any other order, all the way through the poem, whereas Charge Of The Light Brigade is in full rhyming couplets.

The poetic devices, for example metaphors, similes, alliteration and onomatopoeia, creates a meaningful effect on the story behind the poem. Wilfred Owen’s use of alliteration ranges from emphasising how horrible the solider’s clothes were (stanza 1), to emphasising a positive aspect of army life (stanza 4). His play on words really makes you feel for the character as it shows his sadness when it notes how girls touch him like some “…queer disease…” Wilfred Owen adds in some strong verbs – for example “…spurted…”, to give a strong picture in your mind and to help you understand the severeness of the injury. He also uses adjectives to emphasise sadness which, once again, makes you feel for the character. It is quite a sad, slow poem when you read it, however Charge of The Light Brigade is a more upbeat poem.

Charge Of The Light Brigade is about a suicidal charge, led after a misinterpretation of orders, sending six hundred men to their deaths, where only one hundred and ninety five men survived.

Alfred Lord Tennyson after reading an almost hidden article in “The Times” newspaper, felt outraged and didn’t want the “noble men fading, therefore publicising the “Charge Of The Light Brigade” in a poem.

As said above, Charge Of The Light Brigade has a more upbeat rhythm compared to Disabled. As you read through the poem you will notice that it sounds almost like horses galloping. This poem is also made up of stanza’s this time a total of six. The last line on the first three stanzas all end with “…rode the six hundred…”, although, further into the poem it tells you that the battle was not a success “… not the six hundred…”, “…left of six hundred…” and finally “…noble six hundred…”. Alfred Lord Tennyson also uses dialogue to get the point across that they were ordered to their death, and that they, reluctantly or not, followed the orders. The poem also changes tense in the final stanza to past tense to help make the effect that the story is over. Tennyson uses metaphors in the poem “… Into The Jaws Of Death…” to emphasise danger. In this case, the metaphor is also a form of personification. The difference between both poem’s use of metaphors is that Wilfred Owen uses them to show pain and loss whilst Alfred Lord Tennason uses them to exaggerate danger.

In my opinion Disabled is the more realistic in its portrayal of war because it explains about the casualties of basically all wars, not just one particular war. Alternatively, I think charge of the light brigade is written in a more interesting way because of the repetition which keeps a strong beat throughout: “half a league, half a league, half a league onward”. On the other hand, I think Disabled is easiest to understand because of the way it is written and the simple, but effective language Owen uses throughout his poem, for example: “That’s why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg.” As you can see, there are no powerful verbs or adjectives, just plain, everyday words, yet words that are so effective in that one particular sentence and the punctuation helps create the effect. Overall, I prefer Disabled because of the strong image I picture in my head, when Owen uses verbs and powerful adjectives such as “spurted” and “queer”. I also like the fact that he uses rhetorical questions because it creates drama and suspense when you read the poem.

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