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Compare and contrast The Charge of the Light Brigade by Tennyson with The last of the Light Brigade by Kipling.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Tennyson with "The last of the Light Brigade" by Kipling. Generally both the poems are about very similar things. They are both focused on events relating to the Crimean war. For example "The Charge of the Light Brigade" is written about an incident in which the soldiers obeyed a clearly ridiculous order. Whereas "The Last of the Light Brigade" is focused on an event after the war which links to the first poem by describing what has now happened to the Light Brigade. Although both poems are generally about similar things I believe that the authors have written their individual poems with clearly different messages. In "The Charge of the Light Brigade." The author clearly thinks very highly of the soldiers. I believe he has written his poem to commemorate "The Light Brigade". I think that he doesn't want their charge to be forgotten and wants them to be remembered as heroes. This is shown when the author writes "Storm'd at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell." I think that Kipling may have wanted his readers to no longer see "The Last of the Light Brigade"as just heroes but as normal human beings. I believe that Kipling has written this poem to make the British public realise what had really happened and make them realise the harsh reality. I believe that Kipling tries to put right the mistakes Tennyson had written. This is shown when Kipling writes "We think that someone has blundered, an' couldn't You tell 'em now? You wrote we were once heroes sir, please write we're Starving now." ...read more.

Middle

This is shown firstly in the first two lines Tennyson says: "Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward." I think this is a very effective way of conversing to the reader a sense of the battle scene. Although it is not a regular rhyme all the way through as this would not convey the unpredictability of war. In a similar way Kipling uses rhyming couplets which help paint a picture of how the soldiers now are. It is predictable just like the soldier's lives have become. Each verse is an example of this as they all use rhyming couplets. This is not the only way the authors try to give us a sense of what things are like In the "Charge of the Light Brigade." Tennyson uses both alliteration and repetition to create a sense of the battle. An example of the alliteration that Tennyson uses is seen when he writes. "Storm'd at with shot and shell." The repetition of the "s" sound creates the sound of the ammunition whistling through the air and around the soldier's heads. This gives us a sense of the chaotic battlefield. Tennyson also uses alliteration and repetition to put forward a point. This is shown when he writes. "Half a league, half a league, half a league onward." This emphasises how the soldiers kept trying and trying to move forward even though they faced very little chance of survival. I think this is one of the ways in which Tennyson made the "Light Brigade" look like heroes. Tennyson uses repetition on many other occasions to show how heroic the soldiers were. Another example of this is when Tennyson writes "Into the valley of death Rode the six hundred." ...read more.

Conclusion

In this case I believe that Tennyson uses exclamation marks to emphasise a strong emotion which I believe in this case is a sense of amazement at the unbelievable command that was given. Kipling also uses exclamation marks in his writing there are two examples of this. The first is seen when Kipling writes "And the thirty million English sent twenty Pounds and four!" Once again the exclamation ark is used to emphasise a strong emotion and similar to Tennyson, Kipling has used it to emphasise his disgust at the lack of response that the soldiers got after their desperate plea to the public. The second example is when he writes "And we leave the streets and the workhouse The charge of the Light Brigade!" This exclamation mark has been used once again to emphasise emotion, the emotion in this case is the sense of outrage that the soldiers have now been neglected. I think in all there are many contrasts between the poems. There are also many internal contrasts. I believe that both poets have similar techniques and both meant well when they were writing their poems. The major contrast between the two poems is the way the soldiers are perceived. In Tennyson's poem the soldiers are perceived as noble heroes but in Kipling's poem they are perceived as helpless, this is the major contrast between the two poems. I think that Kipling's writing is more powerful because the soldiers are described in a more dramatic manner. Kipling describes the soldiers better mentally and physically and helps the reader get an idea of how the soldier's personalities are. I do believe that Tennyson's writing is also powerful but I also prefer Kipling's writing. ...read more.

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