Sunday, April 7, 2019
The Shield of Achilles Essay Example for Free
The Shield of Achilles EssayThe Shield of Achilles is a poesy of nine stanzas where the author W.H.Auden has used an consequence from the famous Homeric epic Iliad, as the name suggests. Achilles as we know was the greatest hero of the Trojan War and his cuticle as mentioned here has its reference in the book eighteen of the Iliad. There Thetis, the sea goddess and Achilles mother requests Hephaestus the divine blacksmith to make a shield for Achilles whose mail has been taken away by the Trojan hero Hector when he killed Patroclus to whom Achilles had lent it. Auden here has narrated the episode of the Iliad where this shield is in the making. Interestingly unlike the epical shield which was decorated by Hephaestus with stars and constellation, two charming towns full of people, scene of cultivation, a vineyard laden with grapes, herd of cattle, dancing girls and boys, the shield in dubiety presents a scene of lifelessness, destruction and decadence of a moribund society o f people. The poem starts with an unnamed cleaning lady and a man whom we later identify as Thetis and Hephaestus. She is looking over his berm to watch the shield which is being made there.Contrary to her expectations she finds the shield being decorated with barbed wire enclosures and bored officials, toil sentries, detached and dispassionate men folk, a weed-choked-field and a frustrated young boy who knows nothing more or less love being always exposed to murder and rape. In the poem whenever Thetis peers over the blacksmiths shoulder hoping to see roughly beautiful decoration of natural beauty being embossed on the shield, some morbid spectacle is sure to greet her eyes. Fin all(prenominal)y when Hephaestus leaves after finishing the shield, Thetis is distraught to find a repulsive picture which makes Achilles doom all the more evident.The poet has used a method of flashback to emphasize the deplorable nail down of the modern human society. Whenever Thetis looks over his shoulder Auden gives us a glimpse of the beauty of the past by mentioning what she expects to see and what gruesome sights unfold before her. The poem shows a contrast between the ancient mankind of real heroes and the modern world of debasement. The poet W. H. Auden thus uses the shield of Achilles as a subject but all the beautiful descriptions of Homer have been replaced to show the poets disgust with blankness andshallowness of the modern society.