Composition

Outer composition and rhyme scheme

The poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson consists of six stanzas and a total of 55 lines. The stanzas have varying lengths; the last stanza is the shortest with six verses, while the longest is stanza four with 12 verses. 

The poem does not have a consistent rhyme scheme. Instead, Tennyson often uses the same rhyme for a few consecutive verses, such as:

Stormed at with shot and shell,

While horse and hero fell.

They that had fought so well

Came through the jaws of Death, 

Back from the mouth of hell (ll. 43-47)

This gives the verses a certain musicality, at the same time making them easy to remember.

At times, Tennyson also repeats the same word for a few consecutive lines to create a rh…

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Structure

The poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson has a linear composition. In the poem, the speaker narrates the events of a battle between the Light Brigade and their Russian and Cossack opponents. 

The first stanza of the poem sets the scene as it shows the 600 soldiers riding forward into a place which the speaker refers to as “the valley of Death”. In this way, the beginning already provides readers with the expectation that something dangerous is about to happen. 

The second stanza adds to the tension of the scene as it reveals the brigade had received a wrong order, yet they continue to ride forward to their deaths. This stanza also presents the collective character of the Lig…

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