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Compare the Language in Both 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson and 'Bayonet Charge' by Ted Hughes

In this worksheet, students will identify the key language techniques in both 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson and 'Bayonet Charge' by Ted Hughes and analyse their effects.

'Compare the Language in Both 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson and 'Bayonet Charge' by Ted Hughes' 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 and  'Bayonet Charge' by Ted Hughes. Both poems can be found in the Power and Conflict section of your anthology.

 

 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Bayonet Charge' are poems that describe the horror of war and the chaos it brings. 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' creates a description of the soldiers under heavy fire and creates sympathy for the men, who the reader is told have very little chance of surviving the battle. Similarly, in 'Bayonet Charge', the soldier is in the middle of a war zone fighting for his life. Both perspectives are from the viewpoint of soldiers with a duty to fight for their country and question the idea of blind patriotism.


In the following questions, you will identify the language devices used in the poems.

 
 
battle
 
 

battle

 

In order to identify the language devices in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Bayonet Charge', we need to understand their meaning. Read the poem 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and match the questions to the correct answers below:

Column A

Column B

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

soldier with a rifle

 

 

Now read the poem 'Bayonet Charge' and match the questions to their answers below:

 

Column A

Column B

What is the soldier doing in the poem?
It could represent the soldier - they are both afr...
What is a bayonet?
A knife designed to fit on the end of a rifle
What happens to the soldier when the battle starts...
He forgets why he is there and tries desperately t...
What is the soldier 'bewildered' by?
He is confused because the horror of the battle ha...
What does the 'hare' represent?
He is going over the trenches to attack

Let's recap your knowledge of language techniques, so we know what to look for.

 

 

Writing and timepiece

 

 

Can you match the technique to the definition?

Column A

Column B

Simile
A way of describing something by comparing it with...
Metaphor
Words beginning with the same letter sounds
Personification
To describe something that is not human as if it h...
Alliteration
A way of describing something by comparing it to s...
Assonance
Repetition of a vowel sound in a line of text
Onomatopoeia
Words which sound like the effect they describe

Both poems use personification to create a sense of the aggression of battle.

 

The quotations below are all from 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. Choose two which you think are examples of personification.

"Half a league onward"

"Into the jaws of Death"

"Was there a man dismayed?"

"Into the mouth of hell"

"Honour the charge they made!"

'Bayonet Charge' also uses personification in the following quotation:

 

"Bullets smacking the belly out of the air" 

 

Underline one word from this quotation which you think creates the personification.

 

 

 

\"Bullets smacking the belly out of the air\"

In 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' the poet asks:

 

"When can their glory fade?" 

soldiers at war

 

 

What language device is this an example of?

 

Alliteration

Simile

Rhetorical Question

There is also a rhetorical question in the poem 'Bayonet Charge'

 

Can you find it in the list of quotations?

 

"Threw up a yellow hare that rolled like a flame"

"In what cold clockwork of the stars and the nations Was he the hand pointing that second?"

"Like a man who has jumped up in the dark and runs"

Both poems use violent verbs to describe the horror of the battle.

 

Read the poem 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and consider how the poet creates a sense of violence.

 

Which words show the violence, and which do not?

 

 Quotations associated with ViolenceQuotations NOT associated with Violence
Volleyed
Thundered
Half
Rode
Stormed
Shot
Flashed
Hundred
Charging
World
Shattered
Mouth

The poem 'Bayonet Charge' also uses violent verbs.

 

battle

 

 Can you match the violent verbs to their definition?

Column A

Column B

Smacking
Jump or dive quickly
Plunged
Series of short explosive sounds
Threshing
Move violently
Yelling
Strike something continuously
Crackling
Shout in a loud sharp way

Repetition is used in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade':

 

"Cannon to the left of them

Cannon to the right of them"

 

 

Cannon

 

 

What is the effect of this language technique?

 

For this question, you will have to write your answer using the PEE format - Make a point, give an example, explain in deeper detail.

  • Question 1

battle

 

In order to identify the language devices in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Bayonet Charge', we need to understand their meaning. Read the poem 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and match the questions to the correct 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

soldier with a rifle

 

 

Now read the poem 'Bayonet Charge' and match the questions to their answers below:

 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

What is the soldier doing in the ...
He is going over the trenches to ...
What is a bayonet?
A knife designed to fit on the en...
What happens to the soldier when ...
He forgets why he is there and tr...
What is the soldier 'bewildered' ...
He is confused because the horror...
What does the 'hare' represent?
It could represent the soldier - ...
EDDIE SAYS
This poem is about a soldier's experience of a violent battle. It describes his thoughts and actions as he desperately tries to avoid being shot. Although the soldier started off feeling strong and patriotic, he is soon overcome with fear!
  • Question 3

Let's recap your knowledge of language techniques, so we know what to look for.

 

 

Writing and timepiece

 

 

Can you match the technique to the definition?

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Simile
A way of describing something by ...
Metaphor
A way of describing something by ...
Personification
To describe something that is not...
Alliteration
Words beginning with the same let...
Assonance
Repetition of a vowel sound in a ...
Onomatopoeia
Words which sound like the effect...
EDDIE SAYS
This is just a few of the language techniques that we can use to analyse poetry. They are great for creating descriptions and effect - they also get you extra marks in the exam if you can identify and explain them too!
  • Question 4

Both poems use personification to create a sense of the aggression of battle.

 

The quotations below are all from 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. Choose two which you think are examples of personification.

CORRECT ANSWER
"Into the jaws of Death"
"Into the mouth of hell"
EDDIE SAYS
These quotations are examples of personification, as death is given the human characteristic of a "mouth" and "jaws" to show how the soldiers had no chance of surviving. It also creates 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.
  • Question 5

'Bayonet Charge' also uses personification in the following quotation:

 

"Bullets smacking the belly out of the air" 

 

Underline one word from this quotation which you think creates the personification.

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
"Bullets smacking the belly out of the air"
EDDIE SAYS
The word "smacking" is a human characteristic used to create the impression that the bullets are continuously striking the air, as though they are angry. It also creates an impression of the sounds that the soldier would be hearing.
  • Question 6

In 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' the poet asks:

 

"When can their glory fade?" 

soldiers at war

 

 

What language device is this an example of?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Rhetorical Question
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "When can their glory fade?" is an example of a rhetorical question - a figure of speech in the form of a question that is asked to make a point rather than to gain an answer. 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 7

There is also a rhetorical question in the poem 'Bayonet Charge'

 

Can you find it in the list of quotations?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
"In what cold clockwork of the stars and the nations Was he the hand pointing that second?"
EDDIE SAYS
Did you spot the right quote? The quotation "In what cold clockwork of the stars and the nations was he the hand pointing that second?" is an example of a rhetorical question and creates the impression that the soldier is wondering how he has ended up in this battle. It is as if this is happening in slow motion or the soldier has stopped, as he thinks of what he has become.
  • Question 8

Both poems use violent verbs to describe the horror of the battle.

 

Read the poem 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and consider how the poet creates a sense of violence.

 

Which words show the violence, and which do not?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
 Quotations associated with ViolenceQuotations NOT associated with Violence
Volleyed
Thundered
Half
Rode
Stormed
Shot
Flashed
Hundred
Charging
World
Shattered
Mouth
EDDIE SAYS
This is a poem full of violence and the verbs used help to create the impression of the bravery and courage that the soldiers displayed. Despite the violence and danger surrounding them, they still continued to charge forward and fight for their country.
  • Question 9

The poem 'Bayonet Charge' also uses violent verbs.

 

battle

 

 Can you match the violent verbs to their definition?

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Smacking
Strike something continuously
Plunged
Jump or dive quickly
Threshing
Move violently
Yelling
Shout in a loud sharp way
Crackling
Series of short explosive sounds
EDDIE SAYS
Well done if you managed to match them all! These words all create the idea that the battlefield is full of danger and violence. The poet uses many verbs, as he wants to create the impression that there is chaos and anger everywhere the soldier turns. The soldier has to keep moving and fighting in order to survive.
  • Question 10

Repetition is used in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade':

 

"Cannon to the left of them

Cannon to the right of them"

 

 

Cannon

 

 

What is the effect of this language technique?

 

For this question, you will have to write your answer using the PEE format - Make a point, give an example, explain in deeper detail.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Example answer: The poem creates a description of what the battlefield looked like and how the fight happened. The poet uses repetition to describe how there was 'Cannon to the left of them, Cannon to the right of them" which creates the impression that the soldiers were surrounded on all sides by cannons and had no chance of winning the battle. This creates an impression of the bravery of the soldiers who fought well, despite knowing that they were less prepared for the battle.

Although the whole of this question is marked out of 30, for this answer the student will only be making one point (AQA recommends that the student makes 3 comparison points throughout the essay) so we will mark this answer out of 6.
In order to gain full marks on this question the student should have written an extended paragraph that follows the PEE structure.
You should find a point, an example and an explanation.
The paragraph should include a quotation, language technique and some evaluation

Try it ---- OR ----

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