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

Compare and Contrast the Poem ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ (1854) by Tennyson and the Film Version (1968) of the same events by the Director Tony Harrison

Extracts from this document...


Compare and Contrast the Poem 'Charge of the Light Brigade' (1854) by Tennyson and the Film Version (1968) of the same events by the Director Tony Harrison The Charge of the Light Brigade was a dramatic historical event that has inspired many artists to work around these events. Two such examples are the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson written in 1854 and the film of 1968 directed by Tony Harrison. Both these works have similarities and differences, such as attitudes towards the soldiers and officers, the amount of emotion and attention to detail but both the poem and the film paint a vivid picture of the events surrounding this famous blunder. The Charge of the Light Brigade took place during the Crimean War which lasted from 1853-56 and was fought between the Russians and the Allies, who were France, Britain and Turkey. The actual Charge of the Light Brigade occurred during the battle of Balaklava in 1854. Although in poem the names of the officers are not mentioned, they are in the film. The Chief Commander of the army was Lord Raglan. He sent the message to the cavalry, which was taken by Lord Nolan down to the commander of the cavalries, Lord Lucan. Lord Lucan read the order but due to the hurriedness of Lord Nolan the order was misinterpreted and Lord Lucan, and ...read more.


The poem begins with steady pace of "Half a league, half a league, half a league onward" giving an impression of horses riding along. The poem gets faster when direct speech is used, "Forward the Light Brigade! Charge for guns!" this gives the impression of the horses speeding up quite rapidly. "Cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, cannon in front of them", then this line makes the reader feel like there is no hope and as if the Light Brigade is completely surrounded by the Russian artillery. Soon there is an explosion of uproar and commotion. The line, "Plunged in the battery-smoke right thro' the line they broke", gives this impression of action. Verse five is the aftermath of the battle and the retreat back through the valley and the reader is left wondering how many of the valiant cavalry were able to survive the ordeal and the fatal mistake that was made by the officers. In the film version of the Charge of the Light Brigade, the director, Tony Harrison, sets out to disparage the officers of the British army, and, like the poem, to show the heroism and bravery of the soldiers. However, unlike the poem, in the film names the officers who were responsible for the blunder, and he also includes some spectators in the film. ...read more.


Both the poem and the film show the glory of the soldiers and the mistakes of the officers. However the poem doesn't name the officers, like the film does. The film also shows more detailed emotion of the characters. The film has a more personal level to it. While the poem only speaks about people in a very general way, like, 'the Light Brigade', or 'someone had blunder'd'. This generalisation does not get across the emotion of the individuals like he film does. In the film, the main officers involved, Raglan, Lucan, Cardigan and Nolan are all named. You also get more of an idea of the officer's personalities in the film. Nolan comes across as a pushy, yet determined person. He forces Lord Raglan into making a hasty decision, and when he gives the order to Lucan, he points his arm in the general direction of the Russian army, which, because of his impatience makes Lucn take the wrong way and leads the cavalry straight to the forefront of the Russian army. In conclusion, I think that that both the poem and the film portray the gallantry of the soldiers and the mistake of the officers. I think that through the media of film, it is easier for the director to show the emotion of the individuals, although there is a certain amount of emotion that can be instilled in the reader of the poem. By Alex Chambers ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE War Poetry essays

  1. Compare and contrast The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy and the The Charge ...

    One type of language that I am going to describe is directly addressing the reader. In 'The Charge Of The Light Brigade' there are few in stances that the poet talks to the reader directly. An excellent example of this is in the 6th stanza 'When can their glory fade?

  2. Explore the similarities and differences between "The charge of the light brigade" and "The ...

    that death could be one of them and so they don't know who to trust. There is an assonance in "Charging an army" which is the one of the themes in the poem, to attack the opposing army. There are six stanzas in the poem which could mean that each

  1. Compare and contrast how the poets convey their attitudes to war

    when the officers orders them wrongly: "Their's not to make reply, their's not to reason why, their's but to do and die." This make the reader also feel sympathetic and saddened that such noble men were led to their death.

  2. Comparing and contrasting "The charge of the Light Brigade" and "The Defence of Lucknow" ...

    "Forward, the Light Brigade!"("The Charge of Light Brigade" S: 2) Here Tennyson explains how the Britons were marching forward in "The charge of The Light Brigade" which means they were attacking with courage. "Backward they reel like the wave, like the wave flinging forward again" (The Defence of Lucknow S: 3)

  1. Explore the ways in which the poets communicate ideas of duty and honour in ...

    a school boy is talking about the honour of fighting and dying for your country, the first two stanzas are tied together and we see the link clearly. Many war poets wrote about the bravery of the soldiers involved, particularly when out numbered as in these poems or out done

  2. The Charge of the Light Brigade Analysis

    The repetition of "theirs" creates an echo which he uses again as a literary device in the next stanza. This is the first stanza that has rhyming "reply, why and die" which gives the poem a momentum making it kinetic poetry and it gives us the feeling of the energy of the charge.

  1. Britain and the Western Front.

    This main fact created damaged confidence for the leaders within the public eye, as the poor relationship between the Commander and the Prime Minister displayed a poor stability of power, due to the Prime Minister's personality clash statement with the Commander.

  2. Free essay

    The Charge Of The Light Brigade Compared to After Blenheim

    Whereas the atmosphere in After Blenheim is fairly tranquil picturesque summers evening which soon becomes grim and sinister when Old Kaspar verifies what Peterkin comes across. "Tis some poor fellow's skull". The writer introduces death with innocence meaning war doesn't kill the evil it diminishes the innocent too.

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