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Comparing and contrasting the content and style of ‘The charge of the light brigade’ by Lord Tennyso

Uploaded by hemee on Sep 05, 2004

‘Dulce et Decorum est’ by Wilfred Owen and ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ by Alfred lord Tennyson are both about war and death. However, the themes are portrayed in two very different ways; one is about glory, and the other about a horrific death.

Tennyson wrote ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ in 1854 after reading a article in a newspaper. The poem was written to increase the moral of the fighting soldiers and of the people at home.

‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ celebrates the glory of war, and how it’s noble to die for your country. Tennyson also talks of how the six hundred soldiers ‘boldly’ rode to the battle, even though an error had been made,

‘Someone had blunder’d’

This mistake sent six hundred soldiers to their death. The soldiers, however, are quickly detached from any blame; this is shown by the repetition of three in the second stanza.

‘theirs not to…’

This shows that it is not the soldier’s fault but someone else is to blame for their death.

The repletion of ‘the six hundred’ at the end of each verse reminds the reader of the loss of life, except in the last verse,

‘the noble six hundred’

Again, this reminds us of the bravery and glory, it also elevates the soldiers above just being ‘the six hundred’. In the last verse, Tennyson also creates a sense of immortality by using a rhetorical question.

‘when can their glory fade?’

This makes us believe that they will never be forgotten, because they are ‘the six hundred’ and they were braver than anybody else was so they should be remembered.

The poem is started in the middle of the action,

‘Half a league, half a league

Half a league onward’

This gives a sense of excitement and galloping horse in the charge, because the rhythm represents the horses hooves galloping on the ground Tennyson uses a lot of repetition,

‘Flash’d all their sabres bare

flash’d as they turn’d in air’

It creates image of the bravery of the soldiers because the repetition makes it stand out making the reader notice it and think about it more. He also uses metaphors and similes,

‘The valley of death’

‘Mouth of hell’

These describe the fate the soldiers await, however Tennyson does not describe the battle its self, as he was not an eyewitness to it. These metaphors and similes are effective because the progressively build up the horrific entrance to the battle...

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Uploaded by:   hemee

Date:   09/05/2004

Category:   Poetry

Length:   6 pages (1,443 words)

Views:   3754

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