Poem and Song Evaluation

Topics: Charge of the Light Brigade, Crimean War, Battle of Balaclava Pages: 7 (2286 words) Published: March 10, 2013
Good evening listeners and welcome to yet another edition of the continuing and enthralling series of The Beat Goes On. Tonight we are looking at the relevance of poetry and song in the 21st century in relation to the theme and the era in which the literature was written. Now I know that some listeners are currently sliding their hand down towards the dial to shuffle the station but please stay and listen to the riveting analysis of two famous pieces of literature from two different moments in history. This program looks at the attitudes and perspectives of war, a theme that is relevant in both modern day culture as well as the many time period prior to ours. Now we will take a step back to a specific time period, one of solemness and possibly a more hypocritical part of the 19th century. The wars in the Victorian era , produced its fair share of casualties, in contrast, producing some of the most in depth, meaningful poetry of all time. Alfred Tennyson was one of the famous writers that was renounced for his beautiful poem called, The Charge of the Light Brigade, that displays bravery and courage of somewhat normality, instead of a trait that one may wish to adopt. A perfect example of bravery at its peak, and the damages that war can do. This will be followed by a well known song called Zombies by Cranberries, a slow and tender song which displays war from a different perspective and how the war has reflected upon modern society's current relationships regarding the matter. The audiences at the original release of this beautiful poem would be fully aware of the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War, to which this poem was constructed, using the events as Tennyson's inspirations. He wrote this poem in a few minutes after he read an article in the London Times about how 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' rode into battle and very little rode out. His intention was to isolate the determination and strength of these soldiers in the face of tremendous danger and make sure these admirable qualities are honoured. Now the first text of the night, The Charge of the Light Brigade, starts with the following stanza. 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.

The opening lines of this poem immediately throws the reader straight into the battlefield, by ranting chants with the clear intention to drive the reader, both in the way it was written and the continual galloping of the vowel sounds. Tennyson has done this deliberately to attempt to capture the continuous drive of the soldiers heading into battle. The constant repetition of lines like' Rode the six hundred' also emphasises the drive and size of the army, as well as giving the reader an image of 600 people riding into battle. Finally, Tennyson ends with an example of a metaphor when he says 'into the valley of death' which displays the battle as the valley and that all of the soldiers are destine for certain death.

The second stanza reads;

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

The first line of this stanza start with a direct order towards the soldiers to 'Forward, the Light Brigade!' into the battlefield. Tennyson obscured the identity of this speaker, who, when the poem was published, was a man by the name of Lord Nolan, a well-known military figure of the time. By using this technique of making the speaker anonymous, allows the reader to shift the focus from the singularity and specific nature of the poem, allowing the reader to broaden the affects of the poem to look at military leaders in the 21st Century. Even though the soldier realised that the commander had made a...
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