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

"Compare the ways in which "on the idle hill" and "The destruction of Sennacherib" portrays images of war".

Extracts from this document...


"Compare the ways in which "on the idle hill" and "The destruction of Sennacherib" portrays images of war". The structure of these 2 poems are similar but comparisons can be made between "On the idle hill" and "The destruction of Sennacherib" Although the content is similar the title, tone, language, devices, structure and punctuation are very different. In the early 1800's when Byron wrote "The destruction of Sennacherib" a large war campaign was occurring; The Napoleonic Wars. The wars surrounding him would effect his view on war. In the late 1800's when Housman wrote "On the idle hill", no major battle was occurring. However, ironically within 20 years of this poem more "lads" were being sent to the slaughter in World War One. The titles of the two poems are very different. "On the idle hill" portrays a very passive image, whereas "Destruction of Sennacherib" is very active. Byron's poem is a stereotype of war. The title shows action and it brings a sense of all encompassing. ...read more.


This sets a scene of tenseness and anticipation. The poem then portrays men as aspects of nature. This makes the poem more light-hearted. The battle is skipped and the aftermath of the battle in the next 3 stanzas is very melancholy. In the last stanza, instead of creating an optimistic ending like Housman, Byron ends on a sad note of mourning, "widows of Ashur are loud in their wail." "On the Idle hill" uses very simple vocabulary whereas "The destruction of Sennacherib" uses rather complicated words to create importance and boldness, 'Cohorts were gleaming'. In both of the poems there is a lot of emphasis on nature. "On the idle hill" describes nature, 'flows of streams' whereas "Destruction of Sennacherib" uses nature to describe situations and things, 'Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green'. This quote is comparing the fresh, young soldiers to the new, green leaves. ...read more.


Both of the poems conclude in a very different way. "On the Idle hill" finishes with two war instruments calling back from the battle. This may be reflecting back to the initial dreamy state. When it says, 'woman bore me, I will rise' it can be read in many different ways. It can be read into as a warning that war may rise again because it is inevitable. Or it can alternatively be read as there being a female influence in nature that will rise up. Altogether it is a positive ending that shows Humanity versus evil. "The Destruction of Sennacherib" has a very religious ending. It ends with the all the soldiers dead. God killed the Assyrians because they killed the holy people. There is a strong reference to nature that may be a reference to God, 'Hath melted like snow'. Both of the poems are ended extremely differently, "On the idle hill" is optimistic and "Destruction of Sennacherib" is pessimistic. Adam Hall 934 words Adam Hall Yr10 ...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. Pre 1914 War Poetry - The Drum and Drummer Hodge analysed.

    The vocabulary used makes war seem quite superficial; 'tawdry' suggests that it's not special, in fact quite cheap and gaudy. 'To sell their liberty' is a strong phrase, implying losing ones freedom, but repeats the idea that war is relentless, inescapable, only a death trap.

  2. War Poems

    "Jaws of Death" and "Mouth of h**l" cause it to sound like an action movie- emphasis on heroism not suffering. In the end, war is seen as glorious, an intentional piece of propaganda. "Drummer Hodge" by Thomas Hardy Firstly, the background to the Boer War is an interesting one.

  1. Look at a variety of poems but First World War Poet comparing the different ...

    of exclamation marks, that sets the tone of this stanza to a state of panic and fear filled. 'Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!' is the leading factor in making the stanza seem more frightful, and the fact the bad situation that the audience was expecting has happened so quickly.

  2. Attitudes towards War - "The Man He Killed", "The Drum" & "The Volunteer"

    In The Drum, at the beginning of each stanza he starts with the same two lines which straight away shows us his attitude towards war as he says "I hate that drum's discordant sound" which shows he has a very strong negative attitude towards the drum which symbolises war to him.

  1. A Comparison of Poems The Charge of the light brigade" by Alfred Lord Tennyson, ...

    "And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea" This is a simile used by Byron stating there were many soldiers which suggests power as well. This is also successful because he is describing something horrible-the soldiers coming to destroy Galilee and something beautiful, stars on the sea, all in the same sentence.

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

    This first scene is made out to be sad. We feel and know this because of the Non-diegetic music played; the music has a sad but still militant feel to it. It is the sort of music that would probably be played at a military funeral; this stirs the emotion in the film.

  1. Compare the presentation of war in the Olivier and Branagh versions of 'Henry V'. ...

    Branagh obviously felt war was not something to be proud of; it was b****y and full of violence and death. It was a depressing time for everyone and it showed that even though Henry was a good leader, all his good efforts were lost at the end when he died.

  2. Why did Britain win the Battle of Britain?

    Britain on the other hand had a good chain of command, headed by the able and respected commander-in-chief, Air Marshal Dowding, and his second-in-command, Air Marshal Park. Dowding had previously designed the Spitfire and the Hurricane - the two Planes Britain was using in the Battle of Britain and had encouraged the development of Radar.

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