illustration of a soldier in traditional nineteenth century military garb

The Charge of the Light Brigade

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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In this poem, Tennyson takes a famous defeat and stirs enthusiasm in the reader by focusing on the spirit of the soldiers, who rode into battle knowing they would be defeated. Write a poem about a similar situation, possibly involving a sports team or a politician, making defeat look like an opportunity to be noble and brave.

Imagine that you are a member of the Russian Army, who the Light Brigade made their brave but hopeless charge against. Write a letter home, describing what you saw and why you think they ran right into the face of certain death.

What do you think is the significance of having the Light Brigade temporarily victorious in stanza 4? Does it add to the story's tension? Does it make these brave soldiers more admirable? How?

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