English 12, Period 1
10 November 2011
Comparisons of Lord Byron’s Poetry
Lord Byron wrote poetry during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when Romanticism flourished worldwide. Influences were far and wide for Byron’s poetry; from religious-biblical events to his beautiful female cousin’s marriage, he wrote about any subject matter he found interesting at that time. “She Walks in Beauty” and “The Destruction of the Sennacherib” are two of Byron’s poems that are well known in literature. “She Walks in Beauty” caught the attention of many people as one of Byron’s best poems; it is considered to be a Hebrew melody written from a third person narrative point of view. “The Destruction of Sennacherib” is also a Hebrew melody in which Byron replicated the measures taken by the Assyrian king Sennacherib to capture Jerusalem. Although these two poems are similar in their use of literary devices, they are vastly different in theme, tone, and context.
Literary devices are used by Byron all throughout these two poems. He uses literary devices such as prepositional phrases, similes, and symbolism along with consonance and assonance to paint the vivid pictures he tries to portray. “She Walks in Beauty” begins with a simile comparing the women who is the subject of the poem to a cloudless night with bright stars. Together the lack of clouds and bright stars combine to symbolize the beauty of the woman’s talent to “contain opposite forces within her” (Hacht 269). “The Destruction of the Sennacherib” opens in a similar way, referencing to a Biblical battle in terms of good and evil. During the battle, the Assyrian king Sennacherib and his army act as the evil trying to defeat Israel which portrays good. Byron uses a simile to compare Sennacherib to a wolf invading Israel which Byron also uses simile to compare to a flock of sheep. Byron uses his “word pictures” to create an incredibly amazing scene so that the destruction of...