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Identify and Explain the Key Quotes in the poem 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

In this worksheet, students will develop an understanding of the poem 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by identifying and explaining the key quotes.

'Identify and Explain the Key Quotes in the poem 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA, Pearson Edexcel

Curriculum topic:   Poetry, Poetry Anthology Collections

Curriculum subtopic:   Power and Conflict: 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', Conflict: 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

For this activity, you will need to turn to the poem 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, which can be found in the Power and Conflict section of your Anthology.

 

 

battle

 

 

Tennyson wrote 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' after reading a newspaper report about the Battle of Balaclava in 1854.  

 

On the 25th October 1854, 670 cavalrymen and officers were given a badly judged order to attack Russian troops who were armed with cannons. Tennyson relates how the cavalry (the ‘Light Brigade’) attacked, showing heroic bravery and discipline, despite the other side surrounding them with cannons. They failed to defeat the gunners and were forced to retreat, losing more than two hundred men killed outright, wounded or captured

 

In the following questions, you will be asked about the key quotations of the poem.

battle

 

In order to identify the key quotations in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', we need to understand the meaning of the poem. Read the poem and match the questions to the answers below:

 

Column A

Column B

Where is the poem set?
There was a miscommunication in the order they wer...
What is a 'Light Brigade'?
In Russia, during the Crimean War
Why did the men charge head first in to the cannon...
For following orders, even though they knew they m...
Why was the 'Light Brigade' so respected afterward...
Men on horses who were lightly equipped

battle

 

 

Now that you have read the poem 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', choose the summary which you think best explains the poem.

 

The narrator is a soldier, rallying the troops as they charge into battle. Despite the odds stacked against them, he convinces the brigade to charge forward

Soldiers charge through a deadly valley and are attacked by the enemy. Although they are attacked from all sides, they are protected. It is implied that God is on their side

A deadly battle is described. Soldiers on horseback advance into a valley that is surrounded by the enemy who have guns and cannons. The soldiers are not as well prepared and many are killed

Throughout the poem, the poet uses the phrase:

 

"Cannon to the right of them,

Cannon to the left of them"

 

cannon

 

What do you think is the meaning of this quotation?

 

The soldiers use cannons on both sides

The soldiers are well prepared

It creates the impression that the soldiers are surrounded

Read the following quotation from 'The Charge of the Light Brigade':

 

"All in the valley of Death,

Rode the six hundred"

 

What does this suggest about the battle?

 

It suggests that the "six hundred" are going to cause death to the opposite side

It suggests that the "six hundred" are riding to their deaths

It suggests that the battle is over before it has even started

The poet creates the idea that the soldiers did not question the people in charge.

 

Read the following extract from 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. Underline two words which show an action that the soldiers didn't do.

Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die.

In the following quotation, the poet describes what happened to the soldiers:

 

"Stormed at with shot and shell"

 

What do you think is the meaning of this key quotation?

 

It creates the impression that the soldiers went into battle with force

It creates the impression that the soldiers were met with an incredible force of weapons

It creates the impression that the soldiers were winning the battle

The poet describes how the soldiers bravely went into a battle they couldn't win.

 

The following quotations are all from 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. Choose two which support the point above.

 

"Half a league onward"

"Into the jaws of Death"

"Was there a man dismayed?"

"Into the mouth of hell"

"Honour the charge they made!"

Read the following quotation:

 

"Charging an army, while
All the world wondered."

 

What is the meaning of this quotation?

 

Everyone agreed with the order

Nobody could believe that this order had been given

People wanted more time to think about what to do.

The poet asks:

 

"When can their glory fade?" 

 

 

war memorial

 

 

What impression does this create of the "six hundred'?

 

The poet is worried that the men will not be remembered

The poet wants people to learn a lesson from the disaster

The poet suggests that the bravery of the men will never be forgotten

The last sentence of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' starts with:

 

"Honour the Light Brigade"

 

 

What is the narrator suggesting here?

 

That the army makes mistakes and should not be blamed

That the soldiers should be remembered and respected

That the army should learn from this mistake

  • Question 1

battle

 

In order to identify the key quotations in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', we need to understand the meaning of the poem. Read the poem and match the questions to the answers below:

 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Where is the poem set?
In Russia, during the Crimean War
What is a 'Light Brigade'?
Men on horses who were lightly eq...
Why did the men charge head first...
There was a miscommunication in t...
Why was the 'Light Brigade' so re...
For following orders, even though...
EDDIE SAYS
The poem tells the story of a brigade consisting of 600 soldiers who rode on horseback into the “valley of death” for half a league (about one and a half miles). They were obeying a command to charge the enemy forces that had been seizing their guns.
  • Question 2

battle

 

 

Now that you have read the poem 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', choose the summary which you think best explains the poem.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
A deadly battle is described. Soldiers on horseback advance into a valley that is surrounded by the enemy who have guns and cannons. The soldiers are not as well prepared and many are killed
EDDIE SAYS
Did you spot the right summary? The poem describes a deadly battle, with many casualties.
  • Question 3

Throughout the poem, the poet uses the phrase:

 

"Cannon to the right of them,

Cannon to the left of them"

 

cannon

 

What do you think is the meaning of this quotation?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
It creates the impression that the soldiers are surrounded
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "Cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them" is repeated throughout the poem, as Tennyson wanted to create the impression of the difficulties faced by the light brigade, who were surrounded on all sides. It also creates a sense of respect for the men who fought bravely even though they knew they were less prepared.
  • Question 4

Read the following quotation from 'The Charge of the Light Brigade':

 

"All in the valley of Death,

Rode the six hundred"

 

What does this suggest about the battle?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
It suggests that the "six hundred" are riding to their deaths
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "All in the valley of Death, rode the six hundred" suggests that the British soldiers do not stand a chance of winning, and they're riding into death. It also creates the impression that the soldiers know this, but carry on anyway as they are used to following orders.
  • Question 5

The poet creates the idea that the soldiers did not question the people in charge.

 

Read the following extract from 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. Underline two words which show an action that the soldiers didn't do.

CORRECT ANSWER
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
EDDIE SAYS
The words "reply" and "reason" are two things that you would expect to do when given an order that you think is wrong. But the soldiers do not do this - they do not feel it is their place to question their superiors. Instead they "do and die".
  • Question 6

In the following quotation, the poet describes what happened to the soldiers:

 

"Stormed at with shot and shell"

 

What do you think is the meaning of this key quotation?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
It creates the impression that the soldiers were met with an incredible force of weapons
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? The quotation "Stormed at with shot and shell" describes what the soldiers were met with when they entered the battle. The other side was an incredible force and "shot and shell" describes the force of the weapons that the other side had, whereas the "Light Brigade" only had swords.
  • Question 7

The poet describes how the soldiers bravely went into a battle they couldn't win.

 

The following quotations are all from 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. Choose two which support the point above.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
"Into the jaws of Death"
"Into the mouth of hell"
EDDIE SAYS
These quotations create an impression of the horror of what the soldiers went through. The battle is described as "death" and "hell" before the soldiers have even arrived there, which suggests that they were riding into a battle that they couldn't win. Pretty scary stuff!
  • Question 8

Read the following quotation:

 

"Charging an army, while
All the world wondered."

 

What is the meaning of this quotation?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Nobody could believe that this order had been given
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "All the world wondered" creates a sense of the disbelief that people felt when they heard what the army had been ordered to do. The poet is making the point that the decision was so badly made, that even the people reading the newspaper report could see that it was the wrong decision to send the men into battle.
  • Question 9

The poet asks:

 

"When can their glory fade?" 

 

 

war memorial

 

 

What impression does this create of the "six hundred'?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The poet suggests that the bravery of the men will never be forgotten
EDDIE SAYS
The poet uses a rhetorical question to suggest that people should not feel sad about the soldiers that died. Instead, they should respect and remember them for their "glory" and bravery, which he believes should never be forgotten.
  • Question 10

The last sentence of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' starts with:

 

"Honour the Light Brigade"

 

 

What is the narrator suggesting here?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
That the soldiers should be remembered and respected
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "Honour the Light Brigade" is a command from the poet to give respect to the soldiers who have died. Even though the decision was wrong, the soldiers still fought bravely for their country. Well done, that's another activity completed!
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