In 1854, Tennyson was inspired to write The Charge of the Light Brigade after reading a newspaper story on the Battle of Balaclava. Britain and France were at war with Russia at the time, battling for control of Crimea (the same territory that Russia just controversially re-occupied)-hence the term "The Crimean War."
The Charge of the Light Brigade is one of the most famous poems in the English language because it expresses in words what many people felt in their hearts after this terrible battle: pity and shame for the men who had been so foolish as to fight each other when they should have been fighting the enemy.
It is also regarded as one of the first realistic battles poems. Before The Charge of the Light Brigade, poets often wrote about heroic battles but never about ordinary soldiers fighting on both sides.
Furthermore, Tennyson makes no attempt to hide his opinion of the men who fought in the charge. He calls them "fools" and "madmen" which really means that they were stupid enough to put themselves in such danger when there was an easier way to solve the problem.
But despite these negative comments, it can be argued that The Charge of the Light Brigade shows how much respect Tennyson has for actual heroes because he not only remembers their good deeds but also praises them even though they are very few compared to the number of men who fought against them.
During the Crimean War (1853–56), the Attack of the Light Brigade (Oct. 13, Old Style) was a devastating British cavalry charge against highly entrenched Russian soldiers at the Battle of Balaklava (1854). Alfred, Lord Tennyson immortalized the suicidal attack in his 1855 poem of the same name. The poem became so popular that it was set to music by Edward Elgar and Henry Wood.
The Charge of the Light Brigade occurred just after midday when Major General William Russell's VI Corps attacked the Turkish position at Balaklava. Although outnumbered, the Russians managed to hold their ground until further reinforcements arrived from the main army near Sebastopol. The battle lasted only a few minutes but it was enough for the British to realize they were up against an enemy who was not to be taken lightly.
In the poem, Tennyson tells the story of the charge with vivid language and imagery. He also gives a brief overview of the Crimean War and how it came about. The poet was a friend of Prince Albert, the Queen's husband at the time, and he was invited by her to come to England and compose patriotic songs for her birthday.
Balaklava is a town in the Crimea region of Russia. It was here that the British and French forces under the command of Lord Raglan and Marshal Ney met their end on October 13, 1854.
Expert Responses Tennyson's "Advance of the Light Brigade" recounts the British light cavalry's fatal charge on a well entrenched position during the Battle of Balaclava (part of the Crimean War). This poem glorifies the cavalrymen and their charge as a heroic effort. It is believed that Lord Tennyson, who was serving as the poet laureate at the time, wrote the poem to honor the memory of his friend Arthur Henry Hallam, who died in 1833 at the age of 29. Hallam was the son of the historian Thomas Hallam.
The poem is divided into two parts: in the first part, "The Charge", which describes the events leading up to the charge, while in the second part, "At the Charge", which tells what happened after the charge.
It is estimated that around 150 men were killed or wounded in the charge. The British cavalry was trying to relieve pressure on another unit that was being attacked by Russian soldiers. However, this attempt ended in disaster when most of the riders were cut down by an enemy force that had been hidden from view. After the charge, news of its fate reached England and it became one of the most famous incidents in military history.
Tennyson used information given to him by others to write this poem. He probably read about the incident in newspapers or other publications.
"Onward, Light Brigade!" The commander ordered the men to advance fearlessly. They are dubbed "Light Brigade" to distinguish them from the "Heavy Brigade," another type of cavalry troop of the period. Tennyson's poem is inspired by true occurrences. During the Crimean War in 1854, there was a Charge of the Light Brigade. Ten British cavalrymen were killed and three were wounded during this incident.
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"Charge of the Light Brigade" depicts the impact of combat produced by commanders who appear to be the troops' adversaries. This was inserted by the poet because during the Crimean War, the individuals in control of the army gave them the erroneous instructions, and the men obeyed them, resulting in many fatalities. The poem also implies that the soldiers were responsible for their own deaths because they marched into battle against the advice of their officers.
The Battle of Balaclava was a major battle that took place on 25 October 1854 near the town of Balaclava, then part of the Russian Empire, now in Ukraine. It resulted in a British victory over the Russians. The battle is often cited as an example of a British victory by surprise. In fact, the Russians had two days' warning that a British attack was imminent, but they failed to take advantage of this opportunity.
At 6:00 a.m., 200 British cavalrymen led by Major-General John Brown (who appeared to be the enemy's commander) charged up the steep hill toward the Russian trenches without any cover or support from artillery or infantry. When the men reached the top of the hill, they found themselves face-to-face with an entire Russian battalion that had been hiding behind a low wall. Although the British troopers were armed only with lances and swords, they were able to dismount their horses and use these weapons effectively before being overwhelmed by the larger number of Russians.