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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