Lord Byron, as he was commonly known as, was a British poet and a leading poet of Romanticism and even today is regarded as one of the greatest European poets. The poem was written in 1815 and is based on a…
However Byron does not tell us the full story of the destruction of the king but focuses on the battle scene. He writes about the Assyrian army being destroyed by the Angel of Death thereby making us realize that the power of God is much more than that of the human beings.
The theme of the poem is the battle between good and evil and comparison of the power of God with the power of the mortals. Sennacherib here represents evil. God in this poem is very powerful and punishes those who set out to do wrong. He on hearing the cries of his people sends the Angel of Death to destroy Sennacherib. “And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword / Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord,” (Byron, 1815) aptly describes how God protected his people from evil forces. Even though in the poem the Assyrians are described as noble characters wearing the royal colors of purple and gold they are shown as predators attacking the weak. The words “like a wolf on the fold,” points out to this. A breath of the Angel of Death was enough to destroy the great army and this shows how hollow the power of mortals is when compared to the power of God. The enemy was strong and the number of soldiers was as numerous as the number of leaves on the trees. Yet all that the angel of death did was "spread his wings" to destroy. This represents the central theme that God is more powerful than mortals.
The Destruction of Sennacherib is clearly a poem on death. The first line of the third stanza itself conveys to us that the Assyrian king has been killed and the rest of the poem is about the effects of his death. The images of death are beautifully conveyed by the description of the king’s horse. Here Byron writes about foam spewing from the mouth of the horse and uses one whole stanza to describe the death of a horse. The death of a powerful animal like the horse is used as symbol to show that ...
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