Compare the poems "The Charge from the Light Brigade", and its own parody "The Last in the Light Brigade" checking out the topic of war and its own glorification. Explore also the conflicting attitudes to battle, propaganda and falsehood that may be attracted from "All That's Gold Does Not Glitter" and web page link this to Kipling's episode on laureate Tennyson's poem for its 'Dunkirk-like' feel.
Man it appears, has always wanted to glorify war; the public would rather listen to tales of wonderful sacrifices and noble functions than of the human cost. Aswell as discovering the continuing desensitization of man to battle, this essay seeks to explore and untangle the conflicting behaviour to conflict and conflict propaganda that are set out in: "The Demand of this Light Brigade" by the. L. Tennyson, "THE VERY LAST of The Light Brigade" by Rudyard Kipling and finally "All That is Gold WILL NOT Glitter" by J. R. R. Tolkien. Each provides its own angle on the topic and runs on the variety of mechanisms (whether subtle or distinct) to express it.
Rudyard Kipling is thought to have been offered the post of Poet Laureate through the latter many years of his life, but if so he converted it down. Kipling acquired concluded his education without the qualifications to go to Oxford. Instead he became editor of 'The Military services & Civil Gazette'. He published there that he previously always regretted "war's scar on culture" despite justifying it enthusiastically in a variety of war pamphlets that he published for World War One.
Tennyson was actually given the title of Poet Laureate in 1850. His predecessor, William Wordsworth - a man who acquired accepted the positioning on the foundation that his subject material wouldn't be restricted - had passed on earlier that year in Apr. However as civil war approached, Tennyson noticed the return of traditional poetic styles. His works in this period began to feature the topic of war more and more, so - unsurprisingly with such powerful and uncompromising information attached to them - they acted as propaganda.
Influenced by the monarch, Tennyson looked for to propagate ideas about war and other foreign affairs whilst also writing commemoratively about birthdays, holidays and local or national occasions. Upon reading "The Fee of this Light Brigade" one might wonder at how factual the accounts is. Glimmerings of bias stem from having less attention to whoever "had blunder'd" whilst the poet unceasingly talks of the "noble 1000" and the supposedly honorable "change they made". The poem can therefore be interpreted in two ways: firstly a cover-up for the faults of "someone" that resulted in a massacre practically wiping out the whole brigade; or instead, as I really believe one where Tennyson is seeking for answers to the loose-ended London Times article of the same subject. Personally i think Kipling may have mis-interpreted the poem because of its first so this means and skipped the last mentioned, where Tennyson seeks the same answers and justice as Kipling. In cases like this the expression "someone got blundered" looks in this article as "some hideous blunder" - this indicates that the poet targeted to blame someone (most likely the lieutenant standard Lord Cardigan) for the catastrophe.
In this case ambiguity helped Tennyson to satisfy his own seeks for the poem (to see the general public and by doing so to provoke thought or even get a public response of some information) without exhibiting his behaviour to warfare in a clear-cut way. Attitudes of the sort would most certainly have been considered obstinate and erroneous at the time, especially for a guy appointed expressing the politics views of the monarch himself. However ambiguity has other assignments to experiment with, this is the reason why it features a lot in the most effective of poetry. Upon first reading J. R. R. Tolkien's poem 'All That is Gold WILL NOT Glitter' I wondered to what extent the name and opening collection are simply just rephrasals of the well-known saying: "Not all that glitters is gold". As a matter of fact the first drafts for the poem does utilize this corrupted version of your series from the Shakespearean play, 'The Vendor of Venice'.
Personification is used cleverly in Kipling's THE PAST of the Light Brigade, this time around to describe the ageing brigadiers whose minds were "scarred and lined"; patients of the "Russian sabres". Kipling describes the swords as "keen", this is quite interesting because the information is also an example of "double-entendre". Willing could simply be interpreted to imply well-defined, or as advised by the successive series that the swords themselves were willing to battle. Evidently one must notice that the literal interpretation of the line (in which the inanimate sword is given human feelings) is nonsensical. Instead, analyze the keenness of the swords metonymically - the sword, so commonly associated using its wielder is merely being used to represent the whole.
All three poems use alliteration similarly to enhance their rhythm; one of the clearest cases being from 'All That's Gold Does Not Glitter': "Deep roots are not reached by the frost". Another from 'The Charge in the Light Brigade' allows the sounds of the challenge to be heard as well as just dreamed: "Reel'd from the sabre-stroke, Shatter'd and sunder'd". Again "Storm'd at with shot and shell" uses sibilance alongside the harsher 't' and 'd' looks allowing for these onomatopoeic impact. Both examples give the lines very fragmented shades.
This fragmentedness would match Tennyson's rhyme system which despite essentially using iambic pentameter varies to trocheeic and dactylic. Furthermore Tennyson breaks the regular ten-foot series into alternating lines of four and six legs. Thus giving the lines a lumbering rhythym which many affiliate with the galloping of horses or a battle drum. I, however, would diverge from this view; the irregularities instead conjure images of limping military - an military in full retreat - to my head. Furthermore these irregularities are more and more prevalent after the army starts to retreat in the fifth stanza. I feel that if Tennyson experienced intended otherwise he would not have destroyed the traditional 'rules' of poetry that if shattered may become intolerable.
Although these devices is not found in the other two poems Rudyard Kipling cleverly uses the "kiddies at institution" as a foil to his own view. This is interesting because it issues the childish ignorance of not only the kids that recite the verse but of the men that browse the reports article, blinded so willingly to the real horrors of battle. In this manner Kipling reinforces his own debate by shocking people into looking at their ignorance properly.
Onomatopoeia is one literary approach found in all three of the poems. The best examples come from Tennyson's work, he would have chosen tough words like "Cannon", "Storm'd" and "Shot" to portray an image of chaos in the heads of the audience. Tolkien too uses the approach with words like "glitter" and "spring and coil" which suggest renewal whereas Kipling uses these devices more acutely with trochaic words like "limping" to indicate the asymmetric gait of the wounded soldier.
Parallelism is another cunning technique utilized by Rudyard Kipling to mock Tennyson. The phrase "in to the oral cavity of hell" for example is shown in the sixth verse of Kipling's poem when the author surrogate - "the old-troop sergeant" - says: it's all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin' the mouth of hell; For we're all folks nigh to the workhouse, an' we thought we'd call an' tell".
Indeed parallels run on every level throughout all three of the texts. They all revolve around the theme of conflict, and, in doing so they cover this issue of change. Lots of the parallels seem somewhat uncanny: Tolkien creates that "The crownless again shall be king". This seems to emulate how the military in 'The Previous with the Light Brigade' started the poem "dying of famine" with "neither food nor money" but end with "twenty pounds and four". Even though it was Kipling who composed the "'to-be continuing' or 'see-next page'o' the struggle" the forecasted generosity of the English allows the poem to take on a prophetic build. It functions proactively, seeking future amendments to past wrongdoings, and ultimately irons out the 'Dunkirk-feel' from Tennyson's own misconstrued plea for justice.