GCSE English Literature Poetry - CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (Grade 7, 8, 9 Quotes) Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in GCSE English Literature Poetry - CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (Grade 7, 8, 9 Quotes) Deck (5):

'Half a league, half a league, half a league onwards'
(first stanza)

'Half a league, half a league, half a league onwards':
Firstly, a dactyl is used here (one stressed syllable, followed by 2 unstressed syllables) with the term 'half' being the stressed syllable (HALF a league, HALF a league), almost making it sound like a song to celebrate the heroic sacrifices of the soldiers. Also, an anaphora is used here (repeating a word at the start of a line more than twice) to represent the rhythm of the aggressive hoofs of the horses as they charge towards their opponents.


'All in the valley of death'
(first stanza)

'All in the valley of death':
This quote is a Christian reference as the 'valley of death' is taken from Psalm 23 in the Bible, where the character states if he walks through the valley of death, he won't fear as God will stand by his side, so in the poem, the soldiers may not fear charging to the Russians as God is with them, and even if some do die, God will take them to heaven.


'Theirs but to do and die'
(second stanza)

'Theirs but to do and die':
The quote above says 'do and die', sibilance used to demonstrate the fact that the soldiers have no escape and that death is inevitable for many of the soldiers. Furthermore, Tennyson highlights the great courage of the soldiers because they were aware that 'someone had blundered' on their mission, but instead of giving up, they still went on with the mission and sacrificed their lives in the process, presenting them as true war heroes.


'While all the world wondered'
(fourth stanza)

In this quote, Tennyson intentionally rhymes the verb 'wondered' with the verb 'blundered', and number 'hundred', to externally demonstrate the amazement of the outside world at how the British soldiers heroically devoted their lives to a mission that they knew someone had messed up ('blundered'), so the public are celebrating the soldier's extreme nobility, but on a deeper scale, Tennyson is questioning the reader on the public's true reaction; the public are wondering how the British messed up an order and sacrificed several of their soldiers on the battlefield.


'Honour the charge they made,
Honour the light brigade!'
(sixth stanza)

At the time, newspapers began to hold a negative view on the British soldiers decision to still go into battle despite the incorrect order, so as poet laureate of her majesty the queen, Tennyson feels his patriotic duty to inform the public of the soldiers excessive courage held, by using the anaphora of the verb 'honour', and celebrating their bravery. An alternative view would be that 'all the world wondered', where he questions the reader on the soldiers' decision to follow the wrong order, would be his internal, secretive view while this quote at the end would be his external, public view.