Essay on Charge of the Light Brigade

How is inner and outer conflict represented in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘the charge of the light Brigade’? Whereas ‘Romeo and Juliet’ contains a lot of inner conflict as well as outer conflict, Lord Tennyson’s ‘Charge of the light Brigade’ contains many techniques to enhance the conflict as well as glamorise the ‘light Brigade’ in various ways. Tennyson presents the cavalry men of the Crimean war (1854- 1856) as great victors and a powerful army. This glorious army is bragged about in the form of a poem by Tennyson.
Imagery is one of the techniques which Tennyson uses to build the conflict up as a picture to let the audience visualise the conflict on the battlefield. He talks about the dangers the light brigade are up against as well as enemies, ‘cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, cannon in front of them’ the light brigade are in a perilous position, the repetition of the phrase ‘cannon’ nearly creates a picture in the audience’s mind of the cannons and dangers the light brigade are up against.
This is a sense of outer conflict due to the fact that they are cavalry men with spears up against guns and cannons. In addition to this construction of imagery in the audience’s mind Tennyson uses metaphors to describe the walk of the light brigade into their deaths. ‘Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred’, The phrase valley of death indicates that the army is going to die, how ever the inner confliction here is that the army knows they are going to die, they almost walk into valley of death.


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The valley of death is probably a monument or a place where many others have fallen or a place of bereavement or a great genocide, this line is repeated at the end of every stanza but is varied eventually towards the end of the poem. Rhythm is also a technique which Tennyson expresses through out most of the poem for effects on the audience. Repetition is also present in this poem on top of the regular fast-paced rhythm to poem. This regular fast paced rhythm is created by regular number of syllables in the lines, end rhymes (rhyming couplets), repetition of line structures and words along with repetition of variation of last line.
For example the last line of the first couple of paragraphs is ‘Rode the six hundred’ which continuously repeats itself through out the poem however as soon as the audience approaches Stanza 4 they will all realise that it says ‘ they rode back, but not the six hundred’ this is almost the climax of the poem when the audience will start to realise that the light brigade are slowly diminishing in number, they are starting to be defeated in battle. This variation of the last line of stanza 4 tells the audience that the Light brigade are perishing in battle and are not the heroes they were at the beginning of the poem.
So rhythm plays a huge part in the understanding of the poem, as well as enhancing the poem. As well as rhythm, Onomatopoeia also enhances the poem, to glamorise each stanza and increase the heroism of the light brigade and enliven the dangers and enemies the light brigade come across, ‘Volley’d ; thunder’d; Storm’d at with shot and shell’ the light brigade are being shot at and they are on the battlefield, the Phrases ‘volley’d’ and ‘Thundered’ emphasise the situation of the stanza and more or less make it easier for the audience to imagine the battlefield and the situation of the stanza.
The conflict is shown through the Onomatopoeia and the way they emphasise the understanding the stanza and help with the imagination of the enemies. Sound also plays a huge part in the enhancement of the understanding and imagery of the poem, for instance ‘Shatter’d & sunder’d’ tell us how they were attacking or what their surrounding sounded like, this physical conflict is emphasised by the sounds and the words that describe the action and scenery.
In total there are 6 stanzas (amazing fact), but did you know that each stanza has its own theme, for example the theme of Stanza 1 is ‘A league of their own’ or the theme of stanza 4 is ‘the fall’, the transition from stanza 1 to stanza 4 is almost a whole journey, the audience would have seen the heroism and then the fall of the brave soldiers. The themes help to build up the poem and the climax, this plan is a general base for the audience to know what to expect in each of these stanzas. The conflict is built up slowly over each stanza and then finally publicized.
Duty and obeying in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is one of the similarities as of ‘The charge of the light brigade’, in this case Juliet must obey her parents orders but most of all her fathers, for during those times it was a patriarchal society, so when her father asked her hand in the marriage of her and paris, she had to obey, but she could not, due to her strong love for Romeo, this conflict against the order of the ‘boss’ of the house, this failure to follow orders will result in a loss, in Juliet’s case she will lose the love of her father and presumab y her mothers as well, her father will disown. Juliet will live but this is not the case for the light brigade, they must follow the orders of their commander, and if they refuse to follow orders, then it is a possibly different case, they would probably be Court Marshalled, this procedure will most probably end their lives. This commander made decisions and gave orders with out realising the dangers up ahead.
This conflict, Either physical or inner, is shown through the Enhancers of the poem as well as the actions of the characters, these are represented in the most common of ways, Duty and obligation are common but not the consequences, both the poem and the play contain inner conflict, the inner conflict in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is shown through the words of Romeo and his inner confusion if this is his true love, and ‘the Light brigade’ must follow orders even if they wish other wise.
Conflict overall is easier to identify in the light Brigade and is mostly outer and physical conflict which is emphasised by the techniques which glamorise the ‘light Brigade’ this glamorisation is the factor to which makes the Soldiers look like heroes. Essay word count: 1096

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