• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Tennyson - War Poetry

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

War Poetry Coursework, By Matthew Stronge. War Poetry is written to express a writers feelings towards war in general. Some writers express total glorification of the war, while others convey the inanity of confrontation. One of the poems that I have studied "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Tennyson is a poem that tells of a 19th century battle between the British and the Russians during the Crimean War in Russia. During this war, Great Britain, France, and Turkey were fighting against Russia. This battle was particularly disturbing because the lightly armored British, obviously misled, charges a line of heavily armed Russian artillery unit. The poem describes how many soldiers died due to a mistake made by a commander, a message was perceived incorrectly, and many died. They all charged straight into the centre of the Russian artillery unit, and two thirds of them were massacred in minutes. The remaining soldiers managed to realize the mistake and retreat quickly. The poem seems to describe the heroism and patriotism of the soldiers... Although many died because of an obtuse mistake. ...read more.

Middle

The line continues to say that the man turned their heads on the haunting flares, maybe in a half-hearted effort to shut them out of their minds. Line four is even less enthusiastic - it describes the men as 'trudging to their distant rest'. Maybe the sentence has a double meaning, maybe 'distant rest' is meant to be read further into and is a different meaning of the deaths that eventually the men will encounter. If this is the case then the line is quite dark, but if the line is taken as it is written then there is a little more optimism being displayed. Lines five to eight maintain with the tired, droning tone of those prior to them; they describe how the men were marching almost subconsciously. The word is then repeated, this time in capitals. I think this usage of words creates an effect of a double take. The rest of this line and the line preceeding it outline the men's rush to put on the masks, and their clumsiness in their haste. The third line of this stanza, line eleven in the poem as a whole, begins to tell of how one soldier did not manage the operation quickly enough and was yelling for attention. ...read more.

Conclusion

He presents the horror of senseless death in the trenches and shows us how the famous line from the Roman poet Horace, 'it is sweet and becoming to die for your country�, is a lie. We are told that Tennyson wrote 'Light Brigade� in a few minutes after reading the description in The Times of the Battle of Balaclava in 1854. He was a civilian poet, as opposed to a soldier poet like Owen. His poem 'Light Brigade� increased the morale of the British soldiers fighting in the Crimean War and of the people at home, but Tennyson had not been an eyewitness to the battle he describes. Wilfred Owen wrote 'Dulce� towards the end of the First World War. He was killed in action a week before the war ended in 1918. He wanted to end the glorification of war. Owen was against the propaganda and lies that were being told at the time. He had first-hand experience of war and wanted to tell people back at home the truth. Owen was an officer and often had to send men to their deaths and 'Dulce� gives a personal account of what the war was like. Many patriotic poems had been written at the time. Owen knew that they lied. Bottom of Form ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. A study of "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Tennyson.

    Again the undesirable, slightly unpleasant note is illustrated through the diction. The soldiers sound unwell, probably due to their harrowing lives in the trenches, which makes them dirty, sodden and more prone to illness. In the third line the poet describes flares, long flames often used for signalling, as 'haunting' to the soldiers.

  2. War Poetry is written to express a writers feelings towards war in general. Some ...

    "Stormed with shot and shell," shows the bravery of soldiers (stanza 3). This use of vivid vocabulary brings about the feeling of action. It also adds suspense by intrigiung the reader. When Tennyson writes, "Plunged in the battery-smoke," he portraits the courage of the troops (stanza 5).

  1. Personal response to "Dolce et Decorum Est", "Disabled" and "The Charge of the Light ...

    as the phrase "I saw him drowning" which explains one man dying. This in a way is a contrast to Tennyson's approach to the soldiers, just referring to them as "the six hundred". Also Owen sees death of these men as a bad thing, which is opposite to Tennyson's views

  2. Comparing two war poems - Tennysons' "The Charge Of The Light Brigade".

    These are both effective lines and add to the atmosphere before the actual battle begins. "Lines of grey, muttering faces, masked with fear, They leave their trenches, going over the top" is an important line in the poem. It tells us that the soldiers are frozen with fear, as if emotionless because they know that they are soon to die.

  1. World War 1 Poetry.

    Pope follows up this phrase 'And who thinks he'd rather sit tight?' which makes the reader feel that if they don't go to war and fight for their country the might as well not exist. She also carries on showing the contrast in the feelings of a soldier at the

  2. Show how the anti-war poetry by Wilfred Owen dispels the myth of triumph and ...

    Owen being one of the main poets to change poetry dealt with the grim reality of war in his work, Owen's poems effectively exemplify the futility of antagonism, whereas Tennyson being an earlier poet (pre 20th century)

  1. Compare and contrast the two poems "Dulce et Decorum Est" (Owen) with "Charge ...

    I can see that his poem is aimed at poets who wrote about glory, honour and patriotism (such as Tennyson) by the use of the word "you" in the poem. He wants to clearly show the realities of conflict behind the heroism and splendour, and this is shown by the vivid language and imagery used.

  2. What attitudes to war have youfound in your reading of war poetry?

    Alfred Tennyson was born in 1809 in Lincolnshire, he was educated at Cambridge University and in 1850 he was made poet Laureate. In 1884 he was made a Lord. He died in 1892 at the age of 83 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work