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How to Start Writing Charge of The Light Brigade Essay?


A Brief Introduction of Charge of The Light Brigade by Alfred Tennyson


Poetry has long since been one of the most romantics forms of literary expression. Throughout history there have been multiple poets and authors who have managed to express themselves through the use of poetry and have created masterpieces that have withstood the test of time. Such pieces of poetry are still read and glorified as the continue to hold meaning and expression in modern time. One such poet is Alfred Lord Tennyson who is one of the most more critically acclaimed poets of in western literature. Among the multiple works that managed to make him renounced as a poet, one of the more famous works that he had done was a poem by the name “Charge of the Light Brigade”. Unlike other poem written by him ‘Charge of the Light Brigade” is based in reality tell the story of a failed military action which was a result of the miscommunication of vague orders. Alfred Lord Tennyson was a poet who glorified the act of battle and war and this sentiment can greatly be seen in the poem.

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Outline of Charge of The Light Brigade


The Charge of the Light Brigade was a failed military action of the British Light Cavalry. The Light Cavalry faced almost annihilation when they had acted upon a miscommunicated order for charging the Russian forces in the Battle of Balaclava on 25th October, 1854.  The battle took place during the Crimean War where Lord Raigan held the intent to send the British Light Cavalry prohibit the Russian forces from removing rh guns they had captured from the Turkish positions that were overrun. In every aspect, the British Light Brigade were more than capable and well suited to take upon such and order and would have faired well if this order had come to pass without any issues. But instead of getting the order to take on the task the Brigade was equipped to handle; there was a miscommunication in the chain of command within the Light Brigade. As a result of such the miscommunication, the Light Brigade were sent to carry out and full fontal assault against a different artillery battery. The failure of the Light Brigade was also understood from the get go as the artillery battery was known to be well-equipped for defensive fire, one which the Brigade would not be able to survive.


Despite the impossible odds, the Light Brigade made no objections to the absurdness of the miscommunicated order and went one with the charge. Even under withering fire, the Brigade managed to scatter some of the gunner of the defensive fire, the Brigade was forced to retreat have sustaining heavy damage and suffering from high numbers of casualties with no effective gains from the charge. The poem encapsulates the horror that the Light Brigade had to throw themselves in with Alfred Lord Tennyson using the words “into the valley of death” to represent the hopelessness that the soldiers of the Light Brigade found themselves in. The “Charge of the Light Brigade” becomes a poem that attempts to showcase the heroic aspect of the Light Brigade. The sentiment that is attempted to be portrayed in the poem is one of duty and honor. Despite being faced with miscommunication six hundred soldiers of the Light Brigade did not question the orders and gave their lives for their responsibility and duty of battle.


“Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do an die”


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The “Charge of the Light Brigade” was composed by Tennyson from the information about the battle from two articles that was published in The Times in 1854. The article consisted of the line “The British soldier will do his duty, even to certain death, and is not paralyzed by the feeling that he is the victim of some hideous blunder” which prompted him to use the line in the poem: “Some one had blunder’d”. There is much controversy regarding the true reason for the miscommunication of the order and the person who is responsible of the error. But the poem does not dwell on this factor. Rather it uses this instance of miscommunication as a mean through which the poet is able to glorify the actions and commitment of the soldiers who knowingly marched to what was their doom. the poem is divided into six stanzas, each describing the events of the battle and the charge made by the Light Brigade. Alfred Lord Tennyson present a visual imagery of the hellish nature of the charge that the Light Brigade had to go through as they were attacked by volley of fire from all side. Even with many of the soldiers dying at the hands of the Russian defensive force, the poet continues to glorify them by calling them “hero”. The final stanza of the poem presents a rhetorical question about the glory and fame of the deceased and remaining soldiers of the Light Brigade, calling their massacre a “wild charge”. The poem calls out to the reader/audience in sharing the sentiment of the poet in honouring the charge that was made as the poet asks to “honour the Light Brigade”.




The “Charge of the Light Brigade” is a prefect example of the style of poetry that focuses more towards heroism and their glory of war. Unlike later poets and contemporary writers who, through their poetry, attempt to showcase the horror and true nature of war, Alfred Lord Tennyson attempts to rile the reader with a sense of the patriotism and duty. The poem takes what in reality is a tragedy and a massacre and tried to present it in a spotlight for people to look up to. The poem itself is a short one compared to the other works of the Alfred Lord Tennyson. The “charge of the Light Brigade” was allegedly written by Alfred Lor Tennyson in under 2 minutes and a based on limited information that was privy to him. Using a traditional structure which her deterred from using it the 1840s; the poem became of the more identifying poems of Tennyson for years to come.

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