Shield of achilles auden essay

Shield of achilles auden essay looked over his shoulder For ritual pieties, White flower-garlanded heifers, Libation and sacrifice, Shield of achilles auden essay there on the shining metal Where the altar should have been, She saw by his flickering forge-light Quite another scene.

Auden was a mercurial poet, frustrating and fascinating for his vibrant juxtaposition of the banal and poignant in his challenging poetry. 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.

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. Type How do I use this? Auden- She looked over his shoulder For vines and olive trees, Marble well-governed cities And ships upon untamed seas, But there on the Shield of achilles auden essay metal His hands had put instead An artificial wilderness And a sky like lead.

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. Out of the air a voice without a face Proved by statistics that some cause was just In tones as dry and level as the place: 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.

This mindless acceptance is hardly surprising, given the futility and hopelessness of the world they exist in. The narrative of the poem describes a modern variation of the human race that can no longer be reduced to single individuals; it is, rather, an "unintelligible multitude" that is, at best, less a body of human beings than a statistical anomaly Auden, 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: A ragged urchin, aimless and alone, Loitered about that vacancy; a bird Flew up to safety from his well-aimed stone: The boy, like most others of his world, lives in an atmosphere that is beyond hellish; it is illogical and viciously arbitrary.

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.

Because of their conditioning, however, although they do not aspire to become murderers, they become so nonetheless. 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.

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 From The Shield of Achilles by W.

That glistening fantasy obscures hard social realities, however; it does not show the privations of the poor or the dying wounded of the battlefield, choosing instead to celebrate pleasant imagery such as "athletes at their games" and "[m]en and women in a dance" Auden A Quarterly Review In the words of Auden, 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 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.

Reflections on the Consciousness of Consciousness. Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd. Auden, renewed by The Estate of W. Auden, published by Random House.

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. Robert Pack explores this in his article "The Idea in the Mirror: Cambridge University Press, 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.

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.

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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 A featureless expanse physically and metaphorically, it is an environment in which the individual is a pointless being without any singular meaning.

Log in to post comments Smart Search Clicking a result will bring you directly to the content. She looked over his shoulder For athletes at their games, Men and women in a dance Moving their sweet limbs Quick, quick, to music, But there on the shining shield His hands had set no dancing-floor But a weed-choked field.

Rendered against the fantastic imagery of Homer, the meaninglessness of that modern life is made all the more stark and unmerciful. 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.

If Thetis is left in anguished realization at the end of the poem, so too is the reader. Auden was admired for his unsurpassed technical virtuosity and ability to write poems in nearly every imaginable verse form; his incorporation of popular culture, current events, and vernacular speech in his work; and also for the vast range of his intellect, which drew easily from an extraordinary variety of literatures, art forms, social and political theories, and scientific and technical information.

In essence, it is a world in which the individual has been crushed under the weight and enormity of life itself.Shield of Achilles by Auden Essay Top of Form Poetry The Shield of Achilles W. H. Auden Analysis of the poem: The Shield of Achilles is a poem of nine stanzas where the author killarney10mile.com has used an episode from the famous Homeric epic ‘Iliad’, as.

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 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 Shield of Achilles

The environment is, as Auden describes, a "plain without a feature, bare and brown, / No blade of grass, no sign of neighborhood, / Nothing to eat and nowhere to sit down" ().

The Shield of Achilles is a poem by W. H. Auden first published inand the title work of a collection of poems by Auden, published in It is Auden's response to the detailed description, or ekphrasis, of the shield borne by Original language: English.

The Shield of Achilles W. 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.

The Shield of Achilles is a poem of nine stanzas where the author killarney10mile.com has used an episode from the famous Homeric epic ‘Iliad’, as the name suggests.

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Shield of achilles auden essay
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