Shield of achilles auden essay

For Auden, dispirited by World War II and the loss of any remaining innocence he might have had about the motivations of humanity, "The Shield of Achilles" was not only a magnificent artistic achievement, but the startling articulation of a hope dispelled.

What their foes like to do was done, their shame Was all the worst could wish; they lost their pride And died as men before their bodies died.

The mass and majesty of this world, all That carries weight and always weighs the same Lay in the hands of others; they were small And could not hope for help and no help came: Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Shield of achilles auden essay essence, it is a world in which the individual has been crushed under the weight and enormity of life itself. Her world is that of classical Homeric virtue and beauty - great cities of wonders, religious rites that pervade life and grant it meaning, and an individualistic need for glory.

A plain without a feature, bare and brown, No blade of grass, no sign of neighborhood, Nothing to eat and nowhere to sit down, Yet, congregated on its blankness, stood An unintelligible multitude, A million eyes, a million boots in line, Without expression, waiting for a sign.

Cambridge University Press, Auden, renewed by The Estate of W.

A featureless expanse physically and metaphorically, it is an environment in which the individual is a pointless being without any singular meaning. Reflections on the Consciousness of Consciousness," stating that Auden uses the Homeric, mythical vision of life to provide a sharp contrast with the mundane, scientific reality that modern people live in, one in which the individual cannot appeal to personal or social meaning These occurrences do not trouble the masses, however; rather, they are simply taken as reality.

Robert Pack explores this in his article "The Idea in the Mirror: From The Shield of Achilles by W. The thin-lipped armorer, Hephaestos, hobbled away, Thetis of the shining breasts Cried out in dismay At what the god had wrought To please her son, the strong Iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles Who would not live long.

The world Auden describes in "The Shield of Achilles" is a horrific one, one bereft of inner meaning and whose only catalyst is the posturing of figures of authority.

The cruel logic that runs throughout the poem is that of modern life, of wars motivated by the thinnest of justifications and lives defined not by their expression but by their lack thereof. Their harsh epiphany is echoed by Thetis, who finds that the shield she has so desperately sought in order to protect her son is adorned not with images of beauty but of meaningless monotony.

Without the barest perception of a world that might abhor strife and violence, humanity has become simply unable to conceive of a reason not to propagate both. The boy, like most others of his world, lives in an atmosphere that is beyond hellish; it is illogical and viciously arbitrary.

Because of their conditioning, however, although they do not aspire to become murderers, they become so nonetheless. Log in to post comments Smart Search Clicking a result will bring you directly to the content.

A Quarterly Review No one was cheered and nothing was discussed; Column by column in a cloud of dust They marched away enduring a belief Whose logic brought them, somewhere else, to grief. A crowd of ordinary decent folk Watched from without and neither moved nor spoke As three pale figures were led forth and bound To three posts driven upright in the ground.

They do not question the bizarre situation that compels them to fight, and thus they willfully partake in militaristic actions against whatever other masses they are exhorted to destroy. As such, their world is propagated with horrifying events resulting from their acts and those of their enemies, such as the binding of "three pale figures … [t]o three posts driven upright in the ground," an event that Auden describes in rather Biblical imagery In the modern world Auden depicts in the poem, the masses march blindly to conflict, being roused by ethereal voices of authority to take up any number of meaningless, supposedly just causes.The Shield of Achilles in the Iliad The shield of Achilles plays a major part in the Iliad.

It portrays the story of the Achaeans and their fight against the Trojans in. The Shield of Achilles W. H. Auden Analysis of the poem: The Shield of Achilles is a poem of nine stanzas where the author has used an episode from the famous Homeric epic ‘Iliad’, as the name suggests.

The Shield of Achilles W.

The Shield of Achilles

H. Auden, - She looked over his shoulder For vines and olive trees, Marble well-governed cities And ships upon untamed seas, But there on the shining metal His hands had put instead An artificial wilderness And a sky like lead.

Achilles’s earlier shield was taken by Hector after he killed Achilles’ close friend Patroclus, who had taken the armor into battle thinking that seeing this armor would scare the Trojans (Achilles had stayed out of the fight over a dispute with Agamemnon about a.

Essay on Achilles' Shield Words 4 Pages As long as there is thought there will always be debate as to the relevance and applications of any figure that has potential symbolism deeper than its appearance. The Shield of Achilles is a poem of nine stanzas where the author has used an episode from the famous Homeric epic ‘Iliad’, as the name suggests.

Shield of achilles auden essay
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