Poetic analysis of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Essay by s2sophiaJunior High, 9th gradeA, November 2007

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The disastrous cavalry charge during the Battle of Balaclava is still very much remembered today in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's narrative poem, 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. In every line of the six stanzas, Tennyson reflects deeply on the strong courage of the 600 cavalry men even during the most tragic of times. Written with detailed recount, the poem tells us of the brave charge the soldiers made even when they knew they were following mistaken orders. And by using various techniques, Tennyson paints for us a vivid image of the charge at the battle scene. Through 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', he has shown us an everlasting memory and respect for the brave men who fought so courageously and boldly.

The context of this poem impacts greatly on our understanding and the way we reflect on it personally. Set during the Crimean War in 1854, Britain, France and Turkey were up against Russia.

But following the confused instructions of the higher commanders, the 600 soldiers charged valiantly 'into the jaws of death'. Lord Tennyson wrote this poem just a year after the battle as a tribute to the British cavalrymen who were involved in the charge. Even now after 150 years, this poem is still seen as a mark of courage. When we understand the context of the poem, we begin to relate to it more personally and recognize the idea and meaning which was being conveyed when Tennyson was writing this poem. Our respect and admiration towards those soldiers are now empathetically shown through our knowledge of the poem's context.

In this poem, Tennyson uses many techniques to express feelings and deeper meanings. The technique used most commonly here is repetition. In the first stanza, there is already repetition on the phrase "half a...