New
New
Year 10
Eduqas

Analysing 'The Destruction of Sennacherib'

I can explain how Lord Byron uses language, form and structure to express his viewpoint.

New
New
Year 10
Eduqas

Analysing 'The Destruction of Sennacherib'

I can explain how Lord Byron uses language, form and structure to express his viewpoint.

Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. The regular rhyming couplets could reflect the rigidity of the army, or could be used as a dramatic storytelling device.
  2. Byron’s use of sibilance arguably illustrates the power of the Assyrian army.
  3. The biblical image of the wolf attacking sheep connotes the battle between good and evil.
  4. Anapestic tetrameter could echo the sound of the forces advancing.
  5. Byron uses an extended metaphor, comparing the Assyrians to the sea, which could emphasise how the mighty army fell.

Common misconception

Byron portrays the Assyrians as evil predators because this was what he believed they were like.

Arguably, we can't know Byron's feelings on this matter. It's more likely that he portrays the Assyrians in this way to emphasise the power of God when he is able to easily decimate such a formidable enemy.

Keywords

  • Predator - an animal that hunts and preys on other animals for food

  • Stressed syllables - syllables in a word that are emphasised or pronounced with greater force

  • Anapestic tetrameter - a poetic rhythm consisting of four groups of three syllables (each with two unstressed syllables and then a stressed syllable)

  • Sibilance - repetition of the hissing sound 's' or 'sh' in nearby words

  • Couplets - a pair of successive lines of verse, typically rhyming and of the same length

Equipment

Edexcel GCSE Poetry Anthology ('Conflict' cluster)

Content guidance

  • Contains conflict or violence.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

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6 Questions

Q1.
In 'The Destruction of Sennacherib', how are the Assyrian army defeated?
King Hezekiah's army battle them in Jerusalem and win
Correct answer: an act of divine intervention - God steps in and destroys the Assyrian army
they all fall ill after eating poisoned fruit
they aren't - Jerusalem is attacked and Sennacherib becomes the leader
Q2.
What is Galilee?
a type of military ship
the name of the leader of the Assyrian army
the Jewish word for 'God'
Correct answer: a region and body of water
Q3.
Which of the following is a synonym for the verb 'waxed'?
shrank, diminished
Correct answer: grew, became
withered, perished
succeeded, triumphed
Q4.
What is a rhyme scheme?
a irregular pattern of similar sounds at the beginning of lines in a poem
an irregular pattern of similar sounds at the end of lines in a poem
a regular pattern of similar sounds at the beginning of lines in a poem
Correct answer: a regular pattern of similar sounds at the end of lines in a poem
Q5.
What is the meter of a poem?
the order and progression of ideas in a poem
the lengths of lines and stanzas in a poem
Correct answer: the rhythmic pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in lines
the use of repetition to create a driving rhythm
Q6.
What is sibilance?
repetition of syllables at the end of a verse or line
repetition of words or phrases in the first part of successive clauses
repetition of harsh consonant sounds such as 'p', 't' and 'k'
Correct answer: repetition of the hissing sound 's' or 'sh' in nearby words

6 Questions

Q1.
Which of these animals is a predator?
a sheep
a horse
Correct answer: a wolf
a pig
Q2.
What is a couplet?
a stanza with four lines of the same length
a line of poetry with two clauses
Correct answer: a pair of successive lines of poetry, typically rhyming and of the same length
a poem where every other line rhymes
Q3.
Which two methods does Byron use in the following quote from 'The Destruction of Sennacherib'? "the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea"
Correct answer: a simile
anaphora
a metaphor
Correct answer: sibilance
Q4.
What is anapestic tetrameter?
four groups of three syllables per line, two stressed then one unstressed
Correct answer: four groups of three syllables per line, two unstressed then one stressed
four groups of four syllables per line, two unstressed then two stressed
four groups of four syllables per line, two stressed then two unstressed
Q5.
In 'The Destruction of Sennacherib', Byron uses an extended metaphor to compare the Assyrian soldiers to which natural feature?
Correct answer: the sea
a tree
a desert
a storm
Q6.
Byron's use of form and structure in 'The Destruction of Sennacherib' is very focused on...
creativity
Correct answer: regularity
simplicity
ambiguity