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The Charge Of The Light Brigade

720 words - 3 pages

“Boldly they rode and well, into the jaws of Death, into the mouth of Hell.” That is an excerpt from Lord Alfred Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade, a poem highlighting the honor and death of war. The poem was chosen for this close reading essay because it has always been a personal favorite. It talks of the real events of the Battle of Balaclava, yet speaks of the life all soldiers must live. The Charge of the Light Brigade is a fascinating poem, both in the way it is formed, to the details of why it was created.
First, a brief explanation of the poem is in order. In it, six hundred soldiers ride for a league and a half to enter the battle. They were ordered forward against the Russian and Cossack forces, despite being largely outnumbered. Even though the blunder was known, the soldiers did not hesitate as it was not their place. Many died in the battle, and few survived.
Next, the events the poem is describing ought to also be set forth in order to provide the proper context. In 1853, war broke out between Russia and the Ottoman Empire; later, this war would come to be known as the Crimean War. The war was over Russia's right to protect the basic human rights Protestant Christians in the Holy Land. On October 25, 1854, the allied French, Ottoman, and British forces landed at Sevastopol and laid siege to the city, as it was a coastal city guarding the Black Sea. If access was gained to the Black Sea, the British, Ottoman, and French forces would be able to access large portions of Russia by sea without warning. Lord Raglan, who was leading the attack, noticed that the Russians had set up strategic cannons on either side of the valley and at the mouth on the other side. Recognizing that his troops could be decimated by this, he ordered the unprepared Light Brigade of 637 men to charge the guns. When they charged, they broke through the first line of cannons, but Russian lancers came up behind them and surrounded them. They then...

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