Analysis of The Charge of the Light Brigade

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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 generally used to make the situation more realistic. Although the same applies in this instance, Tennyson adds aural imagery to seem as if the reader is actually at the battle listening to everything being "shatter'd" and "thunder'd". Also, the words used for onomatopoetic effect are all descriptions of adversity and hardship. Words such as "shot" and "storm'd" conjure up images of the death in the mind of the reader. The stanza layout is specifically used to reflect the journey of the cavalry. In stanza one, they are striding towards the battlefield, moving "half a league onward". In the second canto, they are still travelling to the valley, and tension is mounting, even though their leader "had blunder'd". Although in modern times this would be very questionable when a leader makes a mistake when going into a potentially damaging battle. However, they did not argue or "reason why". In the third verse, the struggle commences as they are fired at from all angles. They bravely push o... ... middle of paper ... ...t of Lancelot in "The Lady of Shalott". Although one is myth and the other is real the definition of "bravery" is universal. The length of each stanza varies form six to twelve lines. The six stanzas and six lines reflect the "six hundred" soldiers. The altering stanza length echoes the varying number of soldiers left. The first three stanzas have nine lines and their last line is "Rode the six hundred" whereas the last three stanzas are all different with different endings. Throughout the poem we notice Tennyson's distaste for war. However he has made the battle itself rather exaggerated to show that war is not all about victory, bravery or patriotism, but death, blood and loss. He does, nevertheless, respect the soldiers involved and tries to make the reader appreciate the huge level of loss made by the mistake by one, somewhat more powerful man.
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