Compare and contrast Tennyson's The Charge of the Light Brigade with

1613 Words7 Pages
Compare and contrast Tennyson's The Charge of the Light Brigade with

Kipling's The Last of the Light Brigade.

Tennyson and Kipling both wrote the story of the Light Brigade who

fought in the Crimean war, in the battle of Balaclava. This battle

took place between the English and the Russians in Eastern Europe on

the 25th October 1854.

Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote his poem also in 1854, just after the

battle had ended, and his aim was to build national pride in the

hearts of the English people, and to " Honour the charge they made."

Tennyson wanted to boost the moral of the English people because of

the Light Brigades defeat. Tennyson wanted to change the feeling of

defeat, to one of heroism, and to show that the Light Brigade were in

fact brave to go up against the " Jaws of death" with only "six

hundred men."

Kipling on the other hand, who wrote his poem in 1891, 37 years after

the battle had ended, saw how the Soldiers were living in poverty and

wanted to make the public feel guilty for abandoning the soldiers when

they needed support the most. Kipling wrote the poem as a response to

Tennyson's poem, and refers to Tennyson as being the "Master singer."

Kipling also tries to shed a reality on the battle, and how the

English were loyal to the soldiers when they were need, but now that

the battle is over the broken soldiers returning no longer fit the

heroic image the public hold, and so their country no longer cares. In

fact exposing the publics expressed support to be only shallow lip

service.

Tennyson wrote his poem with rigid, rhythmical, and evocative

language, and tries to glamorise the Battle, and in doing so, makes

the poem too fanciful.

While Kipling on the other hand wrote his poem using...

... middle of paper ...

...their lack of fidelity towards the soldiers.

In conclusion I personally find Kipling's poem more effective. I find

this because although Tennyson tries to make people feel a sense of

national pride, the battle took place because of an error, and they

the English people were massacred. They were brave because they knew

they were committing suicide, but they went anyway. This makes them

very brave, and quite foolish, but not heroes.

On the other hand, Kipling is angry, and disgusted with the English

people's fake loyalty because they only needed the soldier when they

were fighting, now the battle is over they are just get in the way.

Kipling sheds a reality on the lives of the soldiers now, but sets his

poem out like a story, which is very clever.

Kipling only wanted justice to be served, and for the English to see

how they had treated their "Heroes."
Open Document