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The Charge of the Light Brigade

By Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!' he said :
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'

Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew

Some one had blundered :

Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die :
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell,
Rode the six hundred.


Question Collection

1. About which war was "The Charge of the Light Brigade" written?

The Crimean War

2. According to the first stanza of "The Charge of the Light Brigade", how many British
forces rode into the battle?

Six hundred

3. In stanza one, what does the phrase “the Valley of Death” refer to?

The valley where the British soldiers rode/ the battle occurred.
4. Why do you think the poet refers the valley as “The Valley of Death”?

It is because the soldiers knew that they were going to lose in the battle and they would

5. Why did the soldiers ride to their death?

They had to obey their commander’s order.

6. In stanza 1, what was the light brigade ordered to do?

They were ordered to move forward on a frontal assault against a well-armed Russian
soldier / to attack the Russian soldiers

7. What kind of weapons did the Light Brigade have?

Spears, swords and bows

8. What weapons did their opponents/enemies have?

Cannons, rifles

9. In stanza 2, what does the word ‘dismayed’ suggest?

It means to lose your courage/ to be overcome by terror or sadness

10. Did the British soldiers feel discouraged? Why?

No, they did not. It was because they were carrying out their duty and if they were to die,
they would die with honour/ They had to obey the command of their leader.

11. In stanza 2, what does the line “Someone had blundered” suggests?

The commanding officer had made a stupid and clumsy mistake by ordering them to
charge the well- prepared Russian soldiers/ the leader had made a mistake in giving order.

12. Write the meanings of the following lines:

i. Theirs not to reply: The soldiers must not talk back to their commanders.

ii. Theirs not to reason why: They must follow the orders without asking why.
iii. Theirs but to do and die: All they could do was to ride and fight and possibly diein
the battle.

13. Who won the battle?

The Russian soldiers

14. Give two adjectives to describe the six hundred men?

Courageous/ brave/ noble/ heroic/ loyal/ patriotic/obedient

15. If you were in the army and your commander told you to fight in a battle where you
would most likely die, what would you do? Why?


16. Do you believe that war is sometimes necessary? Why?


17. Is it noble for followers follow a command without asking questions? Why?