what is the theme of the poem after blenheim?

what is the theme of the poem after blenheim?

1 Answer

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    The theme of the poem, “After Blenheim”, is the horrors of the war as it is an anti-war poem. The poet shows the absurd intricacies surrounding the war which a common people are unaware of. For the common people, war is glorified as they consider it to be bold and an act of bravery and are only bothered by the victory. When Old Kaspar was talking about the skull, he said that the skull belonged to that of a brave soldier who died fighting in a way. To him the death of the soldier is not remorseful but the fact that he died for a great victory is more commendable. The poet critics the voice of Old Kaspar by making him oblivious to the real horrors of the war. He is unaware of how gruesome battles are and “many thousand men’s” lives are trivial considered to the victory that they have attained. He is ignorant to the actual consequences of the war and celebrates hollow nationalism by celebrating the “great victory.” Old Kaspar then goes on to say that the reason of the war is nit known to him but he knows one thing for sure that it was a famous victory. This shows how hollow nationalism is for common folk like Old Kaspar. He knows who won the war but doesn’t know the hardship and the bloodshed behind the war. He values war as the result of glory. The poet criticizes this form of glorification by making ironical statement like “great victory” and so on. Kaspar glorifies war instead of accepting it as a mean of physical and psychological trauma. Unlike his little granddaughter, he is oblivious to the truth and lives under the illusions created by the rulers of the time. Due to this mindset, all the matters to Old Kaspar was victory only. The poet wants to bring forth the fact that war is not something to be glorified as it’s not the solution to peace. Soldiers go through extreme mental and physical exhaustion while being out there on the battlefield which cannot be explained in terms of mere victory.

    Summary of After Blenheim Poem

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