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Context Research on Charge of the Light Brigade - Essay Example

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When I first read the poem “Charge of the Light Brigade”, I was sure I was reading something from an English setting because it sounded like the ‘The Red Badge of Courage’. Given my background in English literature I assumed the poem was about the English Calvary men,…
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Context Research Essay on Charge of the Light Brigade
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Download file to see previous pages The poem is based on the Crimean war in which the Russians, British, Russian French and Ottoman Empire participated (Donner 5). The war took 3 years and the combatants were fighting for Ottoman territory that was in a decline at the time. The events are actually based on a true story of the light brigade, which was supposed to pursue and capture a Russian artillery train, but instead ended up being sent to the “Valley of Death” (Tennyson 7, 16); so named because it was an ideal kill zone as they were heading directly towards a heavily fortified Russian defense. The soldiers understood that there had been a mistake and the Commander had blundered but like true British soldiers, they stuck to their orders and never questioned them marching gallantly to their death.
In the contemporary setting, the poem is so popular because it reflects the expression of courage under fire and impossible circumstances and the ability of the British army to prevail bravery even in the face of death (Rumens). Many of the soldiers were cut down and historically it is approximated that over 247 out of the 600 soldiers were killed. This is not very much unlike the situation that was replicated in the recent Afghan and Iraq invasions in which hundreds of soldiers died in wars that coud as well have been needless but they were just following orders. The peom is thereore likely to appeal to the modern audience especially in lieu of the fact that the cause of the deaths could be attributed to a miscommunication between the solders and the officers. The phrase “valley of death” appears to be an allusion from the bible in psalms when David says he will not fear to walk in the shadow of death, the soldiers appear not to fear the danger of death because they have faith in God. In contrast with psalms, the subjects in the poem had unwavering faith in their leader but ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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