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

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Introduction

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." ...read more.

Middle

" While horse and hero fell." Tennyson uses this language to bring out an overall feeling of National pride, and to " honour the Light Brigade". He glorifies the battle to draw people away from the thought of it being a disaster, to it being one of Bravery. On the other hand Kipling uses rhyming couplets in his poem. He also uses rhythm, which is loose and relaxed, and sounds almost like a nursery rhyme. Although the rhythm is easy, the theme is shocking and horrific. His poem is relaxed, and not rigid like Tennyson's because he has nothing to praise and glorify. What is contained in Kipling's poem is sad, and is the result of his anger towards the disloyalty the English showed to the " Poor little army...limping and lean and forlorn." Kipling also uses enjambment for direct speech " Let us go to the man who writes the thing..." Although Kipling's poem is fiction, because the troops never went to confront " The master singer" about why he had turned them into something they weren't. Kipling does try to make the poem personal, by putting in the speech of the soldiers, and what they would have said if they had gone to Tennyson. ...read more.

Conclusion

Kipling's poem may have the rhythm of a nursery rhyme, but the theme is horrific. " Tennyson only uses rhyme in a few stanzas and it isn't regular, but on the other hand Kipling uses rhyming couplets. Both use alliteration in they poem to describe the soldiers "Shiftless soldiers" "Stormed at with shot and shell", but Tennyson uses emotive language in his poem to build a feeling of pride, and heroism. Kipling only wants to shame the English people for 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." Emma Louise Raynsford Page 1 ...read more.

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