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The Portrayal of War in Lord Byron’s The Destruction of Sennacherib, Wilfred Owen’s Dulce Et Decorum Est and Tennyson’s The Charge of The Light Brigad

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The Portrayal of War in Lord Byron’s The Destruction of Sennacherib, Wilfred Owen’s Dulce Et Decorum Est and Tennyson’s The Charge of The Light Brigade

We have studied three poems on the subject of different views of war.

‘The Destruction of Sennacherib’ and ‘The Charge of the Light

brigade’ were written pre 1914 whereas ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est was

written post 1914’. Dulce et decorum est, was written by Wilfred

Owen, and is meant to portray the harshness of the first world war.

This was mainly to combat writers such as Jesse Pope, who portrayed

the war as “a game”. Lord Byron’s the destruction of Sennacherib, was

written pre 1914, and he used secondary evidence (2nd book of

chronicles chapter 32 in the Old Testament) to structure his poem.

Most of his poems were based on religious stories however, it is

strange that he should do this, when he lived the kind of lifestyle

that he did. Tennyson also based his poem on secondary evidence – a

newspaper article. He shows war to be heroic and that it is patriotic

to die for your country.

Lord Byron’s poem was published. The Destruction of Sennacherib in

1815. The poem is written about a story in the bible describing how

the King of Assyria (Sennacherib) invaded Judea planned to destroy

Jerusalem. It talks about how the king who praised the one real god

was rewarded for being faithful in his darkest hour.

The first stanza describes the power Assyrian army, by using vibrant

colours “Purple and Gold”. By using the vibrant and victorious

colours, he shows his view on war as victorious.

He goes on to compare their “spears to stars on the sea” - in a

romantic way. This shows how Byron views ...

... middle of paper ...

...cause describing the terrible

effects of war on people would interfere with the heroic, noble

atmosphere he is trying to create. Wilfred Owen’s works shows the

effects on him up to his death in 1917, relating to his experiences in

the First World War. He condemns war and writes a small poem aside

from his personal encounters. The poem reads: “in all my dreams,

before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, chocking and

drowning.” I think this creates powerful, terrible images. It

describes his nightmares of people being gassed, using three of the

most shocking and revolting sounding words in the poem. For me,

showing the horrendous and distressing effects on ordinary people is

an incredible way of expressing his opinions, and trying to persuade

people not to go to war, as it is a very powerful emotional appeal.
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