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Charge Of The Light Brigade Essay

1465 words - 6 pages

The battle of Balaclava took place on October 25, 1854, and a tragic military disaster like no other, was about to be caught by the eyes of the nation. A blunder sparked by the animosity between two English Army leaders led to the death of over two hundred solders. The Battle took place during the Crimean War which was a war between Britain, Sardinia and France against Russia. Over six hundred soldiers forming the Light Brigade charged towards the Russian soldiers under orders of the two blundering army leaders. The miscommunication had cost the Light Brigade many lives. The valiant marching of the Brigade into the mouth of hell influenced the emergence of a new poetic figure. Alfred Tennyson was struck with the news of the event and unknowingly wrote what became, one of the most famous poems to date. He reflected his sense of nationalism through his piece “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” Tennyson uses his influential position to cleverly create propaganda, not only for the purpose of magnifying the errors made during the patriotic charge, but also at the same time exemplifying the English Army’s loyal sense of obedience as a military success.
In his early years, Alfred Tennyson was a strong but struggling poet with love and passion for his poetry. He went to college to pursue his poetic career and refine his skills. Education played a big hand in his achievement of success. Richard J. Dunn makes evident that “Tennyson earned his position in literature because of the remarkable range of his talents and his dedication throughout his long career to perfecting his art” (166d). After receiving a prestigious Chancellor’s gold medal award in 1829, Tennyson released a book of his poems in 1830 followed by his second book three years later. Tennyson continued writing but did not publish for a while after this. But when he did he met immediate success, he quickly achieved the privilege of becoming a national icon, poet laureate of England. Editors Blunden and Heineman theorize that “In 1884, an English writer was made a peer of the realm in recognition of his poetical workers. That had not happened before and has not happened since” (1). Upon becoming poet laureate Tennyson’s sense of patriotism reached new heights, as he was expected to reflect on major events occurring in England. He further highlighted his worthiness of being a national figure with the writing of a poem on the Light Brigade. It was influenced by a sudden momentary impulse of passion experienced right after reading the news of the tragic event.
Furthermore, Tennyson managed to bring forth the fact that a blunder had indeed been made, resulting in the horrific manslaughter. The poem was written not only as a duty of his laureateship but also to express his personal patriotic views about the battle and its blunders. Williams Flesch hints that “Tennyson’s poem is outraged at the ‘blunder’ that sent these men [Light Brigade] to their deaths” (64). Tennyson uses his powerful...

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