Comparison of the Charge of the Light Brigade and Vitae Lampada

Topics: Charge of the Light Brigade, Battle of Thermopylae, Poetry Pages: 3 (878 words) Published: January 22, 2011
Comparison of “The Charge of the Light Brigade” and “Vitae Lampada”

The two poems “The Charge of the Light Brigade” and “Vitae Lampada” are both from the 19th century; they are also both based on war. Lord Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light brigade” tends to be more specific whereas Henry Newbolt’s “Vitae Lampada” doesn’t actually give information as to where or when the combat incident he wrote about on occurred. But, ideally, the two poems are both hugely patriotic and both express a traditional respect for bravery, honour, glory and for the their nation or “Patria”

Both of them express similar sentiments to the famous ‘’Dulce et secorum est pro patria mori’’- which Wilfred Owen uses in his poem of that name, but in fact dates back to the ancient Greek Leonidas at the battle of Thermopylae, in which he and his men were defending the pass, The phrase was said to have been carved into the rocks ‘Go, tell them in Sparta that ‘it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country’’. Leonidas and his army were massively overwhelmed but defended the pass in single combat until the last man fell.

Lord Tennyson gets the reader straight into the action, as in he lets us know almost immediately what his poem is based on in the first few lines ‘All in the valley of death’ ‘Charge for the guns’. This easily puts the idea into the mind of the reader that there is some type of violence occurring but the verse saying ‘Charge for the guns ‘should be able to clarify the exact situation in the reader’s mind. Henry Newbolt, on the other hand, tends to deliberately hesitate getting to the point, of action. He does this by using a cricket game to put an idea expressed in phrase in the mind of the reader the phrase being ‘’Play up! Play up! And play the game!’’. He uses the cricket scene because of how the words of encouragement used in the game, can be used in a much more serious situation later on in life and in his poem that serious situation happens to be war. The same...
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