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Compare and Contrast The Charge Of The Light Brigade with The Charge Of The Heavy Brigade Paying Particular Attention to the following

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Adam Fisch 4C Compare and Contrast The Charge Of The Light Brigade with The Charge Of The Heavy Brigade Paying Particular Attention to the following: The similarities and differences in poetic structure and language, The way in which Tennyson has used historical sources And Tennyson's portrayal of soldiers and generals at the time The two poems that I am looking at are 'the Charge of the Heavy the Brigade' and 'the Charge of the Light Brigade'. These two poems have been written by the same poet, Tennyson. Both of them were written shortly after battles fought consecutively in 1854 against the Russians. The poems are very specific, so much so that the 'Charge of the Heavy Brigade' has the date the battle took place as part of the title. The poem 'Charge of the Heavy Brigade' also mentions the name of specific leaders such as Scarlett. Both poems refer to the number of men in each brigade, the figures 600 and 300 are exact estimates of the men that fought in each battle. However Tennyson has rounded the figures to the closest hundred, so that they are easier for the reader to remember. The poems are similar in a few ways. When reading the poems the rhythm and the pace add to the sense of movement of horses, men throughout. For instance in both poems when the English are charging the pace accelerates and in ' the Charge of the Heavy Brigade', when the English move up a hill to reach the Russian position, the length of the lines increase and so it takes longer to finish the stanza, thus giving the illusion that there is an actual hill. ...read more.


We notice that in the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' Tennyson does not specifically name the enemy as Russian. Instead it seems that Tennyson is suggesting the enemy is more the 'someone' who 'blunder'd'. Throughout the 'Charge of the heavy Brigade' there is much emphasis on the individual Scarlett and Tennyson stresses that the 300 men in the 'Charge of the Heavy Brigade' are his men not any one else's. It is specifically Scarlett who inspires 'the gallant three hundred' onward into battle and the fray. This is the opposite of the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' as in the second stanza it implies that the soldiers went into battle against their own 'reason' as it is not 'theirs' to 'make reply'. Instead the soldiers follow the orders and we are told that 'boldly they rode and well'. In the sixth stanza when Tennyson asks the reader to 'Honour the Light brigade', it is to honour the ordinary men not the officer who made the order. The 'Charge of the Light Brigade' has no hero as such but creates all the soldiers who died as equals, elevating them to the position of heroes by the end of the poem. Despite mentioning the Russians in the fourth stanza of 'Charge of the Light Brigade' we are left with the impression that the 'Noble 600' are in fact fighting against fate, and fighting against 'Death'. In this poem, the tragic loss of lives are made more important and it would seem that Tennyson does this by showing that even though they might fight bravely they do not have a chance in the 'valley of Death'. ...read more.


The enemy are driven into 'wild disarray' and leave 'over the brow and away'. Unlike the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' the 'Charge of the Heavy Brigade' also uses longer lines to build tension towards the climax of the battle however we are never in doubt of the Heavy brigade's success as by repeating the words 'up the hill' Tennyson implies that the English are winning ground. In the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' by repeating the words 'valley of Death' we are presented with a lasting image as Tennyson implies that there is no hope for the light brigade. Despite their bravery as the light brigade rides on 'into the jaws of Death' we feel as if they are trapped in a situation they cannot escape from. The 'Charge of the Light Brigade' relies on repetition and the equal lengths of lines which make the poem shorter and more to the point. In the 'Charge of the Heavy Brigade' Tennyson is able to create atmosphere by manipulating pace and sound. Whilst both poems deal with the subject of war they do so in very different ways and although the 'Charge of the Heavy Brigade' is a poem of celebration the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' is contained, precise and arguably more realistic as Tennyson reveals to us that they did not die by the hand of the enemy but that lives were lost through the mistake made by one person. The 'Charge of the Light Brigade' leaves a greater impression on the reader and we are more likely to remember the 600 who died as they are immortalised by Tennyson's words. 1 ...read more.

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