Tennyson's Use of Poetic Technique
While Tennyson has been labeled "The Poet of the People," and has enjoyed much success as a writer of "public poetry," his poems are ironically very private. Much of his success may be attributed to his gift for making his poetry appeal to a large audience. This accomplishment is made possible by his extensive use of technique to serve a larger poetic function.
"The Charge of the Light Brigade" is an excellent example how Tennyson uses a structural technique to serve a larger poetic function. The structure of the entire poem is indeed essential to its theme. Like the story to which it refers, the poem has a definite beginning, middle and end. The beginning, consisting of stanzas 1 and 2, corresponds to the order (lines 5 and 6: "Forward the Light Brigade! / Charge for the guns!"), and the advancement of the brigade. The middle, consisting of stanzas 3 and 4, is characterized by the clashing of the brigade and the artillery, and the consequent slaying of the soldiers. The end, consisting of stanzas 5 and 6, is characterized by the retreat of the remaining soldiers, and the narrator's reflection, respectively. However, while this division of the stanzas appears balanced at a glance,...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 774 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 5242 literature essays, 1580 sample college application essays, 204 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in