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The Destruction Of Sennacherib Analysis

Author: poem of Lord Byron Type: poem Views: 15

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The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,

And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;

And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,

When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,

That host with their banners at sunset were seen:

Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,

That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,

And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:

And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,

And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostrils all wide,

But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride:

And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,

And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,

With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;

And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,

The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,

And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;

And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,

Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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| Posted on 2017-03-19 | by a guest

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And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
is referring to an entire army that had been eradicated by the lord just looking at them, without even trying.

| Posted on 2016-02-13 | by a guest

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As mentioned before, the poem isn't much more than a poetic romanticization of Jerusalem’s survival of an Assyrian siege, modeled after the Biblical account (not to diminish its quality - it's one of my favorite poems by far). It embodies the Romantic fascination with the ancient Middle East (the Assyrian king Sennacherib's attack on Judah and Jerusalem), nature (the comparison to leaves of the forest, rock-beating surf, etc.), and the power of God (the might of the Gentile melting like snow in the glance of the Lord, the archangel Gabriel slaughtering the Assyrians in their sleep). Also as mentioned earlier, the poem uses anapestic tetrameter, which subtly evokes the rhythm of a horse’s gallop (as in the unstressed “ba-da” and stressed “bump” of “ba-da bump, ba-da bump”), fitting given its martial subject matter.

| Posted on 2015-01-19 | by a guest

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The first stanza is about Sennacherib, an Assyrian king and his army are upon a city like wolves upon sheep. The army is dressed in purple and gold, their spears are described in simile as being as vast and numerous as the glittering "stars" which sunlight casts upon the waves of the Galilean Sea.
In the second stanza, the Assyrian army is described as being as vast and numerous as the leaves on the trees in summer, which are reckoned to be so totally encompassing that they would block out the horizon and parts of the sky. The "host" or city under siege is described as being as bare and brittle as the leaves during autumn; "falling and breaking," they are fleeing and dying.
In the third stanza, the Angel of Death has made an appearance, he is spreading his wings upon the Assyrian camps. The Angel of Death has "breathed in the faces" of the Assyrians as he passed the sleeping soldiers, killing them.
The fourth and fifth stanza I'm not sure about, but I like to think of it as The Angel of Death riding away from the camp, totally silent and completely desolate of life.
The sixth stanza is just describing some of the aftermath of the carnage.
Hope this helped

| Posted on 2013-07-15 | by a guest

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it think the poem is stating that humans are finite and nature is infinite. Eventually the army cannot stay strong forever. God is always almighty.

| Posted on 2012-03-24 | by a guest

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This poem actually isn\'t noteworthy for any deep meaning. The reason it has become so famous is because of the rhythm Byron uses. It is simply very pleasing to hear. Also, it is a very good example of anapest (unstressed, unstressed, stressed), which is a fairly uncommon foot. Not having a deeper meaning doesn\'t make it any less of a poem; it\'s just good for different reasons.

| Posted on 2011-05-01 | by a guest

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.The imagery used is supposed to demonstrate how forboading the Assyrian army is; it may be nice looking imagery but it is only there to put an image in your head of a huge army

| Posted on 2010-10-29 | by a guest

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do you think this would come under balad, sonnet or a narrative sort of poem??

| Posted on 2010-03-17 | by a guest

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i dont understand this poem at all. Lord Byron is talking about war but comparing it with things that are beautifull and things that wouldnt come to mind when thinking about war. i need to write an analasis on this poem or i wouldnt be fussing so much but will someone please help me!!!

| Posted on 2010-03-01 | by a guest

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I think this is an example of God's Pwnage on all noobs.

| Posted on 2009-06-02 | by a guest

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i believe this poem states how much havoc God can cause if you threaten a kingdom of his or his children. He can and will destroy you and your followers if you are causing destruction.

| Posted on 2009-04-14 | by a guest

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