what is the setting of the poem after blenheim?

what is the setting of the poem after blenheim?

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    Robert Southey’s poem, “After Blenheim”, is an anti-war poem, showing the absurd intricacies surrounding the war which a common people are unaware of. The poem begins with Old Kaspar is basking in the Sun after his day’s work and watching his granddaughter, Wilhelmine play in the garden. He is relaxing “before his cottage door” and the atmosphere of a quiet, peaceful and pastoral view is created. Wilhelmine spotted her brother, Peterkin, coming home with something in his hands. It’s “large and round” which Peterkin actually picked up beside the rivulet. He himself is unaware of what he has found and brought it home to ask his grandfather, perhaps, about his discovery. The object which “was so large, and smooth, and round” attracts Peterkin’s attention and he brings it over. Old Kaspar takes the object from Peterkin’s hand and tells to him “with a natural sigh”, as if he is trying to dig up his memories of the past, that what Peterkin has found is a skull. That too not an ordinary skull but a “poor fellow’s skull” who fell in the “great victory.“ Peterkin is curious to know about the skulls. He wants to know about the war and how everything happened. Wilhelmine is also curious as she “looks up” with “wonder-waiting eyes.“ Old Kaspar sits down to narrate them the story behind the skulls. He says that it was a battle between the English and the French, with the English winning it rightly and valiantly. He goes on to say that the reason of the war is not known to him but he knows one thing for sure that it was a “famous victory.” The actual horrors of the war are presented. The soldiers burnt the villages near Blenheim and no one was spare, not even a childing mother nor a new-born baby. It was a massacre. Wilhelmine exclaim in horror how “wicked” it all is. But the grandfather shushes her saying that it actually wasn’t as it was for a “famous victory. Instead of praising the martyrs of the war, Old Kaspar praises the Duke for whom he believes the “great fight win.” He thinks war is easily fought and the lives lost in the battle are trivial. Peterkin questions him “what good came” at the end of the war to which Old Kaspar responds saying he doesn’t know but all he knows and all he cares is the it was “a famous victory.”

    Summary of After Blenheim Poem

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