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English Literature

Alfred, Lord Tennyson: The Charge of the Light Brigade


Mametz Wood – this poem is also about remembering soldiers who have died in war but it is the opposite both in its tone and its treatment of the theme. Tennyson, living at the time of the events he describes, sets out to build a monument to them in poetry so their "glory" will never "fade". Sheers is living long after the event. There is no glory here. Instead he sets out to create a small hymn so the fallen soldiers will be remembered for their own brave deeds in battle.

Bayonet Charge – this poem is linked by subject matter: a soldier charging in battle. The treatment, however, is different. Tennyson creates a rich impression of the whole action from a kind of widescreen perspective (a brigade charging down a long valley). Hughes is much closer to the action he describes. He focuses on the experience of one man. So instead of exploring the impact of a military action on a nation, Hughes analyses the emotional response of an individual within a nation's war.

Back to Poetry: Conflict index

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