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DateLine Sunday, 30 September 2007

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English Literature made easy - Poetry

The charge of the light brigade by

Alfred Lord Tennyson, a great poetic artist, as he was called.

In "Pictorial Presentation" he was close to keats, having "a command of the musical resources of language" Tennyson seems to be on a high level of poetic excellence "in rank among English poets" THE LOTUS EATERS THE DREAM OF FAIR WOMEN, ULYSES, IN MEMORIAM, are some of his exquisite poetry.

Tennyson's desire to bring before his reader, the vigour, loyalty, bravery and courage of the soldiers marching forward irrespective of the danger ahead. The real battle fought in 1854.

Tennyson's diction style remains unparalleled as he expresses the onward march of the LightBrigade, regardless of their own fate. The lines of the poem are in "dactylic dimetre" the first four lines of the eight lines in the first verse with a rather slow motion and fifth and sixth lines with the command

"Forward the Light Brigade
Charge for the guns" he said'

The courage, quickness stability and loyalty of the soldiers, exquisitely brought forth "Into the valley of Death..." reference made to a legend and the emphasis laid in a brilliant manner through repetition significance of the monsterous state of war "mouth of Hell", "Jaws of Death" highlight the danger ahead... comparing to "jaws and mouth" of some extremely dangerous animal, a monster waiting to gulp down the human beings the brave soldiers. The effective words of the commander

"Forward the Light Brigade
Charge for the guns', he said.
Highlighting the complete obedience of the soldiers

In the second verse a bit of criticism in disciplining and training of the soldiers is emphasised.

"Their's not to make reply
Their's not to reason why
Their's but to do and die
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred"

In verses three and five the strength of the enemy is clearly highlighted.

"The cannons" volleyed and thundered stormed at with shot and shell"

The extremely monsterous and hellish situation created with the contrasting image of the brave soldiers marching forward.

"Stormed at with shot and shell
Boldly they rode and well"

Stressing the obedience of the soldiers and the danger surrounding the troop.

The last line of the forth verse brings before the reader the pathetic end of the soldiers.

"Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
shattered and sunder'd,"

The miserable state of the soldiers who strictly obeyed the commands. In verse four

"Flashed all their sabres bare flash'd as they turned in air"
Sabring the gunners there"

The quick and immediate movements of the troop is clearly highlighted. There's abit of irony regarding the bravery and strength of the troop.

"Boldly they rode and well into the jaws of Death" The pathetic state, the utter destruction and failure of the brigade is emphasised in the last line of the fifth verse.

"All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred"

The last verse is actually an eulogy paying respect, honour and highlighting the soldiers" "undaunted courage" and the poet lavishly calls the soldiers NOBLE SIX HUNDRED. Tennyson presumes that they had but "to do and die"

The charge of the Light Brigade shines as a good piece of "dramatic poetry"

The stanza form adopted by Tennyson for his poem" THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE" is appealing and full of life. Simple and direct language style is superb and distinctive. The poet's wording is creative and effective

"Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them,
Volley's and thunder'd."

The horrendous situation created for the soldiers destined to 'DO AND DIE' is emphasised by the poet using repetition. The poet has used dactylic dimetre suggesting the dangerous march the soldiers are engaged in marching towards "the valley of death".

The rhyming scheme, emphasising the effect of the poetic sequence created by the poet. Irony, highlighting the actual situation. "the wild charge they made". The repetition of the word "CANNON" creating the disaster ahead. The last four lines of the last verse.

"All the world wonder'd
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred"

'NOBLE SIX HUNDRED' the last line is in a sophisticated fashion highlighting the end of the NOBLE SIX HUNDRED, though the poet seems to be rather ironical about the task the soldiers had to perform "Boldly they rode and well, into the jaws of Death".

The poet, though reluctantly, assumes that the end of the Light Brigade was extremely pathetic.

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