Charge of the Light Brigade

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As poet laureate and patriot, Alfred, Lord Tennyson was very influential in 19th century England. He successfully showed the ignorance of the English Army leaders while still reflecting his strong nationalist views in an attempt to create propaganda for the Crimean War in his poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” The charge was a tragic incident that took place in 1854 during the Crimean War, which was England, France and Sardinia against Russia, when English Army generals blundered and sent over six hundred soldiers on a charge that was destined for disaster. The solders were known as the Light Brigade and the charge resulted in over two hundred deaths to soldiers and over three hundred deaths to horses. In this horrific aftermath, Tennyson responded to this event by writing a poem which went on to become a classic. Tennyson was a strong nationalist and very political. He was moved and troubled when he received news of the tragic charge. The poem became a form of propaganda for the Crimean War due to Tennyson glorifying the sacrifice of the soldiers by using his exceptional writing skills. Although this poem is regarded by many as propaganda, he included the word blunder in the poem which showed the ignorance of the Army leaders. To begin with, Tennyson was a strong nationalistic poet and he was well educated in the field of politics. He expressed his opinions and preferences concerning political matters. For example, he was not in favour of despotic rule and Marjorie Reeves explains that, “As a student he [Tennyson] was strongly political and his sympathies lay with European Nationalist pulsing against despotic rule” (152). In 1850, Tennyson was appointed The Poet Laureate of England and reflected very patriotic views in ... ... middle of paper ... ... Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia 1500 to the Present. ABC-CLIO. 2003. Google Books. Web.12 April 2011. Jones, Philip Dwight. “Balaklava, Battle of.” World Book Student. 2011 ed. Web. 30 March 2011. Bloom, Harold. Bloom’s Major Poets, Alfred Lord Tennyson. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House, 1999. P.11. print. Marshall, Carol. “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” Poetry Out Loud. School Library Journal, 2005: 59. Elibrary.Web. 31 March 2011. Pearce Joseph. Literary Giants, Literary Catholics. Ignatious Press, 2005. Google Books. Web. 9 April 2011. Southam, Brian. British Writers. Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892). Print. Blunden, Edmund and Heinemann, Eds. “Tennyson.” Selected Poems. London: Heinemann Educational Books, 1960. p.1. print. Southam, B.C. “Tennyson.” Writers and Their Works : NO 218. London: Longman Group, 1971. p.6. print.

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