Analysis of The Charge of the Light Brigade Essay

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Analysis of The Charge of the Light Brigade

This particular poem deals with the unfortunate mistake of Battle of
Balaclava in 1854. In an attempt to retrieve their stolen firearms, the British, lead by Lord Raglen, took their light cavalry to the innocent Turkish territory, rather than the guilty Russians. In self-defence Turkey protect themselves by attacking the British troops causing hundreds of deaths but "not, not the six hundred".

Tennyson uses various techniques to involve the reader more personally. He uses this to emphasise the pain and suffering felt by the soldiers so the reader can really appreciate the physical defeat but the emotional victory from the "noble six hundred". The use of onomatopoeia in poems is
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The cavalry retreat back through the valley where they had previously been. This is shown by the repetition of most of stanza three. The final canto concludes the Battle of Balaclava and
Tennyson's thoughts of war are confirmed. Although he finds the reason for their fighting, unwise, calling their charge "wild". However, he adds that the Light Brigade and their charge should be held in
"honour" even though he agrees with the fruitlessness of war. This reflects thoughts of people who find war ineffective but they will realise that the "noble six hundred" should be held in high esteem and respect. Although the Light Brigade lost the battle they won the moral victory over their critics.

Tennyson questions the authority of war in "The Charge of the Light
Brigade". He wrote this poem based on the Battle of Balaclava because a huge mistake was made by the authoritative figure, Lord Raglen, which caused many deaths. Although the troops knew "some one had blunder'd", they did not question it. He wants to show that even though a person is higher, richer or more powerful than other they can still be vulnerable in making errors. This questions Victorian authority and whether they are making the right decision concerning the lives of British people. Poets in the twentieth century have also taken this argument into account most namely in Siegfried Sassoon's
"The General" where their leader is described as "an incompetent swine". The repetition
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