• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How do the poets of After Blenheim by Robert Southey and The Hyenas written by Rudyard Kipling show their true feelings about war?

Extracts from this document...


How do the poets of 'After Blenheim' by Robert Southey and 'The Hyenas' written by Rudyard Kipling show their true feelings about war? In this essay I am going to write how the poets of both 'After Blenheim' and 'The Hyenas' express their true feelings about war, through their words. 'After Blenheim' is a poem about an old man who is sitting in front of his cottage, watching his Grandson playing on the grass. Incidentally, this cottage was situated very near where the Battle of Blenheim was fought between the English and the French many years ago. When the boy was playing on the grass, he found a skull slightly buried in the ground; he took the skull to his grandfather and asked him what it was. The old man said that it must have been a skull from the famous Battle of Blenheim, which was fought there many years ago. The boy asked his Grandfather to tell him about the battle. The poet starts by saying that the Battle was a 'Great Victory', and he repeats this idea throughout the entire poem, at the end of nearly every stanza. ...read more.


The first indication that something is not right is the introduction of the skull. The poet talks of the child finding something 'large and smooth and round' which immediately makes the reader think of a football or similar toy. When it is revealed that the child has found a skull, this makes us feel very uneasy and we know that this is not a poem about pleasant English summer evenings. The thought of the child, so innocent, playing with something so gruesome as a skull and not realising what it was is very shocking. The language changes again in stanza eight when the poet says, 'And new born baby died' this immediately jerks you into another emotion and situation within the poem. For example when the poet says words like, 'fled', 'died', 'bodies' and 'shocking' and so on, it is especially effective when he says, 'newborn baby died' because the death of someone so very young and completely innocent is very shocking. In 'The Hyenas' the poet talks about the devastation of war, and how it reinforces the unfairness of war on innocent people, e.g. ...read more.


I think he is also using this imagery to compare the soldiers in war to animals fighting for survival in the natural world. Is this what human life has come to as a result of war? Worth nothing except to feed some wild animals? The poet is going one stage further here than he has before in introducing the idea of soldiers being some kind of cattle, sent to war to feed the carrion animals. In both poems, the poets feelings about war is that they are catastrophically phenomenal, and leave hundreds of people without their homes, and without each other, completely destroyed. Wars affect everyone on a large scale. In 'After Blenheim' the poet's thoughts on war, seem, I believe at first, to be the opposite of what 'The Hyenas' is saying because in 'After Blenheim', the poet repeats that the Battle of Blenheim was a huge and great victory for the English. He is saying that he believes that wars always end for one side in a great victory, usually achieved for a good cause but for the other side they are a total failure and the costs are huge. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE War Poetry essays

  1. Enders Game - Summary

    Ender still won, but he refused to play the game again. He was promoted. After this he went back to Earth, disheartened with the government and not wanting anything to do with the war. After 3 months of lazing around a cabin and drifting on its lake, his sister was

  2. Compare and contrast how the poets convey their attitudes to war

    Also, referring to the cannons and the end of the valley as "The mouth of Hell" he writes "Back from the mouth of Hell" to show that the soldiers are now retreating from the cannons.

  1. Pre 1914 War Poetry - The Drum and Drummer Hodge analysed.

    'Groans' and 'moans' are long vowel sounds, and are onomatopoeic, sounding like the physical action of moaning and groaning. The second line however, is trying to show what happens to families and marriages because of war. This is intended to try and show the prospective soldier's loved ones what will happen if they go to war.

  2. The Crimean War.

    This has to be one of the ultimate reasons why the Allies survived Balaclava, the Russians didn't want to fight anymore. Perhaps they were scared, perhaps they were unwilling to face the British again, perhaps they were worried about mutiny, the weather, or they were superstitious.

  1. Saving Private Ryan Examine Steven Spielberg's use of images and Presentation of war. ...

    At the end of the battle Miller rests. Sergeant Horvath comments, "That's quite a view," an emotion that is echoed by Miller as we are shown the vast numbers of dead bodies as the sea washes over them, an aerial shot pans over the beach to show this and to cover it.

  2. The Battle of Britain.

    They all wanted revenge against Hitler, he had after all destroyed their homes. Churchill said 'Never in the filed of human conflict, was so much owed by so many to so few'. The later interpretations say that a lot was owed to the pilots for taking down 1,244 German aircrafts

  1. In this essay I am going to compare two poems written on the First ...

    The poem has a negative tone and this makes the poem more effective. Because it is harsher and the words are quite negative the poem illustrates the harsh and frightening situation so the reader can understand the emotion and fear of the men.

  2. Yellow Palm Analysis. Yellow palm is based on scenes gathered from Palestine street, Bagdad, ...

    These men now rely on passersby to live off, which is sad considering they put their lives and ironically their eyesight, on the line for their country, and it is a great shame, no debt can be paid back to these brave men.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work