February 24, 2012
“The Destruction of Sennacherib” is an example of Romantic philosophy in both its revolutionary subject matter and in how Byron uses vivid details and descriptive language. “The Destruction of Sennacherib” retells an ancient story that is firmly rooted in the nineteenth- century Romanticism. Byron believed strongly in a revolution of ideas, not only how poets should write but how poets should see and experience them as well. In the Destruction of Sennacherib it describes the fall of the king of Assyria in 681 B.C. Lord Byron recounts the battle between the Christians and Assyrians which result in the overthrow of Paganism. The rhythm of the poem has a feel of the beat of a galloping horse's hooves as the Assyrian rides into battle. In "The Destruction of Sennacherib" the narrator's tone is one of amazement. It is clear to see that he is amazed by how quickly, and easily the huge enemy‘s army is wiped out. He says that the enemy's army was as numerous as the leaves on the trees and that their spears shined like the "stars on the sea", but all the angel of death had to do was "spread his wings" to dispose of them. The speaker seems to be in awe of how little effort it took the death angel to wipe them out, because he says that all the angel had to do was breath on them and they died. Finally, he seems to be in awe of how aggregate the destruction of the enemy was, saying that their idols broke and that their might "melted like snow".
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In the beginning of this poem, the speaker describes the might of the enemy’s army to the reader. He says that the Assyrians were ruthless and that they were a force feared by all. To describe their ferocity, he compares get better grades them to wolves coming down on a flock of sheep. When a predator such as a wolf attacks a prey it usually does so without warning and without mercy, so we can picture this army just appears... [continues]
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