Analysis of Lord Alfred Tennyson´s The Charge of the Light Brigade

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“Boldly they rode and well, into the jaws of Death, into the mouth of Hell.” That is an excerpt from Lord Alfred Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade, a poem highlighting the honor and death of war. The poem was chosen for this close reading essay because it has always been a personal favorite. It talks of the real events of the Battle of Balaclava, yet speaks of the life all soldiers must live. The Charge of the Light Brigade is a fascinating poem, both in the way it is formed, to the details of why it was created. First, a brief explanation of the poem is in order. In it, six hundred soldiers ride for a league and a half to enter the battle. They were ordered forward against the Russian and Cossack forces, despite being largely …show more content…

That is why Lord Alfred Tennyson said that there were cannons to the right, the left, and in front of the Light Brigade as it advanced. They were, as Lord Alfred Tennyson says, “storm'd at with shot and shell,” as they, “charged an army.” When they got to the enemy, “all their sabers bare, flash'd as they turn'd in air,” and, “right thro' the line they broke;”. Despite this success, the soldiers were left stranded and outnumbered with no help coming because they had been sent on a mission that was impossible to complete. The six hundred knew this, but did not speak a word of complaint, for it was, “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die;” At the end, Lord Alfred Tennyson highlights the glory of their charge, and that they should be honored for it. But why was this poem crafted? According to Sir Charles Tennyson, the son of Lord Alfred Tennyson, his father wrote the poem as soon as he read about the battle in the Times and it was published on December 9, 1854. With the rise of nationalism starting in the 1700s, Lord Alfred Tennyson felt that it was his duty to honor his country. But, on the other hand, the 243 soldiers who died because of the charge ordered by Lord Raglan also needed to be honored. The poem was written as an attempt to balance the two,. This is evident in that he stresses that the soldiers were sworn to obey their country, and that they were dedicated enough to pay

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