The Sword Is Mightier Than The Pen Essay Examples

"The pen is mightier than the sword" is a saying that many people learn as children. Of course, it means that ideas that are expressed in writing can be much more consequential than violence. Words can influence and inspire countless people, and they can live on indefinitely.

The "pen mightier" line is one of the most forceful sentences about writing in the English language. It's been widely repeated since the 1840s.

It's ironic, then, that the writer who came up with it isn't all that famous. Relatively few people would recognize the man's name today: Edward Bulwer-Lytton.

The Life and Legacy of Bulwer-Lytton

Edward Bulwer-Lytton was born in London in May 1803 and died in January 1873. He served in Parliament and wrote poems, plays and many novels. He especially liked creating stories based on historic episodes. His body of work includes crime tales and a saga about the life of King Arthur.

The "mightier sword" line comes from an 1839 Bulwer-Lytton play about Cardinal Richelieu, the French foreign minister who lived during the 1500s and 1600s. The Richelieu character speaks these words when he learns of an assassination plot against him. Of course, people throughout history had expressed similar thoughts, but Bulwer-Lytton's clever phrasing gave the idea a unique power.

By the way, Bulwer-Lytton came up with other classic phrases. For instance, "the almighty dollar" came from his mighty pen. In addition, his 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" opens with these immortal ― and frequently teased ― seven words: "It was a dark and stormy night."

Generally speaking, the works of Bulwer-Lytton are entertaining, and they were popular when he was alive. What's more, they provide historians with a fascinating window into the author's time.

These days, the San Jose State University English Department runs an annual competition that asks participants to submit the worst first sentence of an imaginary novel that they can think of. It's called the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, and it debuted in 1982. Only three people entered it that year, but it's become much more popular since then.

A Conviction That Endures

Since the mid-1800s, many people have put great faith in the concept of the pen being mightier than the sword, and you sometimes hear this expression in popular culture. In the movie "Batman" (1989), the Joker, played by Jack Nicholson, recites this sentence after using a pen as a murder weapon.

Many people feel powerful when they use pens. Editorial cartoonists, for instance, can lampoon politicians and other world leaders with their drawings. They then share their criticisms with readers all over the nation or world, and perhaps help to defeat unworthy individuals in the process.

Writing can strengthen people in other ways. When you write a letter by hand to a political figure or a corporate leader, you're demonstrating interest and passion, and you may get a personal response as a result.

Similarly, notes that you write on paper and send to others will probably move them, especially if you search a dictionary for precisely the right words. After all, such messages are unusual now. In a world of constant electronic communication, ink on the page has a way of standing out in people's minds and affecting their emotions.

Pieces of writing can have profound effects even if the author never shares them with anyone, let alone copyrights them. That is, if you keep a diary or a journal, you can describe the events of your life on a regular basis and have an ongoing conversation with yourself. That way, when you have a happy occasion, you get to experience it all over again as you put it down on the page.

Even more important, when you suffer heartache or feel angry about something, picking up your "sword pen" and reviewing the source of your trouble in writing can allow you to achieve a sense of peace. That's because, by turning bad events into narratives, you'll feel as though you control them to some extent. At the very least, you can put them into perspective.

Then, after you've written about a sad or unpleasant occurrence, it will be just one more event that you've been through rather than a horrible thing that looms over you like a shadow. Thus, your writing can be a supremely calming and reassuring activity.

So many examples demonstrate the truth of the saying "the pen is mightier than the sword." When you think about the pen with which Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which you may have seen in a museum, you realize that what it produced was more significant than any Civil War rifle, warship or battle.

Likewise, when we pick up a "pen sword" to complete love letters, notes to magazine editors or warm messages to friends and family members back home, we can almost feel a strength flowing through us: the ability to touch hearts and influence minds, a power that no swords have ever possessed. And, when those pens are customized with our names or the names of our businesses on them, we might feel a little more powerful still.

  • Example: CHRISTIANITY vs. ISLAM

    Islam is spread through violence. Christianity is spread through missionaries and preaching. Now which one is the largest religion in the world? Christianity. Christian writings and epistles were the main way that the religion was spread. Examples are Paul's epistles in the bible. They were written to different regions of the world and it was successful

  • The Pen Will Always Be Mightier Than The Sword:

    I believe that the pen is stronger. Words are as strong as actions.
    If someone hurts you with actions, the pain will go away. If someone hurts you with words, you'll eventually remember the hurtful words they said. Yes, the sword can kill you, and obviously a pen can't. But basically you can heal from a cut, but you can't by a word. Actually many people die from words, because they are suicidal. The words get stuck to you and they can't get removed, while a cut or scar can disappear from you. So basically what I'm saying is words are stronger.

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    Act through several generations. A clash of arms do not influence the public or change ideas. It is the pen and the persuasive men behind them that do so. Think of how many people can get rallied up for good through a strong speech, video, or book. MLK and his “I Have a Dream” speech. The 30 minute video that made people believe in Kony and his army of children. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense that witho



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  • Pen is mightier

    The pen is mightier as it can change the entire world . Moreover the pen cannot shed a persons blood but it can write a useful message for the entire world. William Shakespeare proved that the pen is mightier than the sword by making people happy from his marvelous dramas and other books

  • Is this even a question? Of course the pen beats the sword.

    I stand with the mighty pen to oppose powers of great injustice. Violence can only make things worse. The pen is permanent and can make a powerful impact through several generations. A clash of arms do not influence the public or change ideas. It is the pen and the persuasive men behind them that do so. Think of how many people can get rallied up for good through a strong speech, video, or book. MLK and his “I Have a Dream” speech. The 30 minute video that made people believe in Kony and his army of children. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense that without it, our country may not exist as we know it. Gandhi acquired India’s independence through nonviolent protests and writing. He never used the sword to get what he wanted. All weapons can do is kill. But, on the other hand, others believe that the sword is the way to get things done. The opposition states that issues need to be acted on by physical force. Some believe the sword is the one to stop evil forces. The sword must be used to crush evil forces. However, the opposition is flawed because a wound can heal, but words last forever. Ideas on paper are scarcely forgotten, and the pen has the ultimate power to unite people and start a movement.

  • Is this even a question? Of course the pen beats the sword.

    I stand with the mighty pen to oppose powers of great injustice. Violence can only make things worse. The pen is permanent and can make a powerful impact through several generations. A clash of arms do not influence the public or change ideas. It is the pen and the persuasive men behind them that do so. Think of how many people can get rallied up for good through a strong speech, video, or book. MLK and his “I Have a Dream” speech. The 30 minute video that made people believe in Kony and his army of children. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense that without it, our country may not exist as we know it. Gandhi acquired India’s independence through nonviolent protests and writing. He never used the sword to get what he wanted. All weapons can do is kill. But, on the other hand, others believe that the sword is the way to get things done. The opposition states that issues need to be acted on by physical force. Some believe the sword is the one to stop evil forces. The sword must be used to crush evil forces. However, the opposition is flawed because a wound can heal, but words last forever. Ideas on paper are scarcely forgotten, and the pen has the ultimate power to unite people and start a movement.

  • Sword is mighter than pen

    If sword was not there then i think many of us would not have been here.Pen can write a future but sword can go through your future . If you have no sword than even there is no use of the pen. We all try to live in a peaceful society, this is only possible with sword.

  • Yes pen is mightier than sword.....

    Do you like or love novels or books.... Yes, we do. Why ? Because it bring change in us and teaches us more things.......
    We can see writers that brings huge positive change or thought in our mind..... Do you think that this is possible with sword? Will sword or war equally influence us in the same manner? I think not.....The things that the pen or books and literature teach us can never be taught by any war in any way.

    So yes the the pen is mightier than sword...

  • Pen is mightier than sword

    Pen is always mightier because pen has the power to defeat the sword without using any weapons. Just a pen can stop the war going between two countries. Sword and just be used for attacking and defending but pen is everything that we write. So, pen is mightier than sword

  • Pens are mightier.

    In some cases, they are equal. The sword can’t be raised without a good reason, so the sword depends on the pen. However, without swords, pens might as well be useless, as there are sometimes you can’t argue with someone to change their mind, so you need to slay them. But what does the sword bring? It brings war and destruction, something people don’t need. On the other hand, pens bring inspiration, ideas, creation, and agreement. Of course it isn’t always perfect, but you couldn’t say the sword is either. But guess what. Like it or not, you are using the pen, and NOT the sword, to argue your case, so that also supports why the pen is mightier than the sword.

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