“The Charge of the Light Brigade” relates the heroic actions of a military unit during war. The error was made by the higher-ranking officers, but the lower-ranking cavalrymen had no real choice but to obey the order. The men’s commitment to the military code of conduct was essential to all military operations. For any man to refuse to obey would have been a dishonorable action. If one individual or just a few men had refused, he or they could be punished. If all the men refused, it would constitute an act of insubordination or even treason. This perspective is encapsulated in the now-famous line, “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die." However, along with Tennyson’s praise of the fighting men and the value of their sacrifice, there is a touch of irony, as he implies that the overall military enterprise demands too much of the soldiers.