The Charge of the Light Brigade Essay

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McGann recounts the tragedy at Balaclava in the following article. He discusses Tennyson's reaction to the event and his motives for writing "The Charge of the Light Brigade".

The Crimean War, the famous charge at Balaclava, and Tennyson's own attitudes toward these matters are universally recognized by the critics, but only because they are universally regarded as embarrassments, both in themselves and to the poem. My own view, however, is that such a critical stance has misunderstood the relation which exists between poems and their historical formats, and that the significance of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', its achievement as a poem, can only appear now through a critical elucidation of the work's historical aspects.

The topical character of the poem is established by its first printing, which was in The Examiner (9 Dec. 1854) one week after Tennyson read of the events at Balaclava and wrote the poem...

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This section contains 4,438 words
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Buy The Charge of the Light Brigade Study Guide
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