The Charge of the Light Brigade

The Charge of the Light Brigade

BY LORD ALFRED TENNYSON

I
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
II
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
   Someone had blundered.
   Theirs not to make reply,
   Theirs not to reason why,
   Theirs but to do and die.
   Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
III
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
   Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
   Rode the six hundred.

OVERVIEW

‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ was written by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Those who can still remember the poem “Monsoon History” would still remember the line ‘Reading Tennyson at six p.m.’🙂 . Anyway, this poem was inspired by a true event that happened during the Battle of Balaclava that occured on 25 October 1854 in the Cremean War between the British and the Russian. As the name suggests, the Light Brigade was supposed to pursue a retreating Russion artelliry battery, a task well-suited to a light calvary. However, due to miscommunication in the chain of command, the Light Brigade was sent on a frontal assault against the more well-prepared artelliry battery specialised in defensive fire.

Adapted from : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_of_the_Light_Brigade

THE POET

300_tennyson

Lord Alfred Tennyson was born on August 6, 1809, in Somersby, Lincolnshire, England. He is one of the most well-loved Victorian poets. Tennyson, the fourth of twelve children, showed an early talent for writing. At the age of twelve he wrote a 6,000-line epic poem. His father, the Reverend George Tennyson, tutored his sons in classical and modern languages. In the 1820s, however, Tennyson’s father began to suffer frequent mental breakdowns that were exacerbated by alcoholism. One of Tennyson’s brothers had violent quarrels with his father, a second was later confined to an insane asylum, and another became an opium addict.

Tennyson escaped home in 1827 to attend Trinity College, Cambridge. In that same year, he and his brother Charles published Poems by Two Brothers. Although the poems in the book were mostly juvenilia, they attracted the attention of the “Apostles,” an undergraduate literary club led by Arthur Hallam. The “Apostles” provided Tennyson, who was tremendously shy, with much needed friendship and confidence as a poet. Hallam and Tennyson became the best of friends; they toured Europe together in 1830 and again in 1832. Hallam’s sudden death in 1833 greatly affected the young poet. The long elegy In Memoriam and many of Tennyson’s other poems are tributes to Hallam.

Source : http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/lord-alfred-tennyson

VOCABULARY

WORD

MEANING

League
 Valley an elongated depression between uplands, hills, or                 mountains,  especially one following the course of a                           stream.
Charge to attack by rushing violently against:
Dismayed to break down the courage of completely, as by               sudden danger or trouble; dishearten thoroughly; daunt:
Blundered to make a gross or stupid mistake, especially                          through  carelessness or mental confusion:
Volleyed to fly or be discharged together, as missiles.
Shell a hard, protecting or enclosing case or cover.
Boldly not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or                           possible   danger or rebuff; courageous and daring:

MEANING OF THE STANZA

Stanza 1

The light calvary was marching to the Valley of Death because the foes were no match for them. It was like committing suicide. They were 600 of them riding horses figthing in a battle. Their leader ordered them to move forward and consficate the guns to prevent the guns from being carried away by the enemies.

Stanza 2

The soldiers were still moving foward. No one was discouraged by the fact that somebody had made a foolish mistake by giving them a wrong order. They were not in the position to answer any questions nor to ask why. They kept on moving because it was their responsibility and they recieved order from their superior. Even if the were fated to die, all the six hundred of them were still moving forward.

Stanza 3

The soldiers bravely fought the battle. They were attacked from their right, their left but they still moved forward. True enough, they were also attacked from the front. But they marched fearlessly to the Valley of Death and fought until their last breaths.

MORAL VALUES

  1. We should be brave in defending our country.
  2. Appreciate the peace that we have.
  3. Sometimes, it is good to ask questions.

1 Comment »

  1. abdullah Said:

    teacher muna teach us about it now\


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