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. Nevertheless, redemption lay in their own hands. 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. This is what the armorer decided to put on the shield of Achilles, son of Thetis, Achilles the man-slayer doomed to soon die. He also engraved images on the shield.
Patroclus and Achilles were very close, and the loss of his friend supercharges the wrath this temperamental hero is known for. Autoplay next video 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. Many interpreters of The Iliad see the shield as a microcosm of the world as the ancient Greeks knew it. At Oxford his precocity as a poet was immediately apparent, and he formed lifelong friendships with two fellow writers, Stephen Spender and Christopher Isherwood. The lyric is divided into three parts, and each part consists of three stanzas. These scenes are presented in a dreamlike fashion that causes us as readers to experience them something like Thetis herself would have been experiencing them. The shield's design as interpreted by , from Le Costume Ancien ou Moderne, ca.
The shield at once acts as an emblem of art and a historian, in that it reflects the civilization of a certain time. It is considered to be possibly Theseus arriving at Athens and being recognized because of his sword by Aegeus. 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: 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. Wystan Hugh Auden was born in York, England, on February 21, 1907. One interpretation is that the shield represents a of civilization, in which all aspects of life are shown. Wolfgang Schadewaldt, a German writer, argues that these intersecting antitheses show the basic forms of a civilized, essentially orderly life. The Iliad tells us that on the shield, Hephaestus ''wrought in all their beauty to cities of mortal men.
The face ordering the same is not visible either, he has no identity, and is therefore, a construct by himself. 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: 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. His own beliefs changed radically between his youthful career in England, when he was an ardent advocate of socialism and Freudian psychoanalysis, and his later phase in America, when his central preoccupation became Christianity and the theology of modern Protestant theologians. Ekphrastic verse describes the visual appearance of a work of art. R were engaged in a dangerous cold war. The enemy soldiers amidst such callousness are captured and tied to three stakes and killed. Auden's version, however, is mock-heroic, contrasting the Homeric description of the life, the modern artist must represent.
In other words, the shield captures, in a nutshell, the basic values and characteristics of their world. Rieu Penguin Classics, 1950 pp. Also there are scenes which depict the artificial and desolate life of the contemporary wasteland. She expected he had engraved traditional images of ancient Greece, such as vineyards, olive woods, marble places, peaceful cities, sailed ships on wine-dark seas, etc. It also depicts the girls being raped or boys quarrelling among themselves and killing each other. The Shield of Achilles, from an 1832 illustration. The other city is shown under siege by an invading army.
Thetis, who is the mother of Achilles, personifies Hope because she acts in utmost desperation and wants to save her son before he plunges into the war of death. Also pictures of men and women dancing rhythmically and sweetly are shown. The passage describing the beautiful, ornate Shield of Achilles is sandwiched between two scenes of bloody violence: the death of Patroclus by Hector, and Achilles taking his wrath out on the Trojans and eventually killing Hector. Thetis's observation of her son's shield, in expectation of seeing the views of her own design, provides a dramatic context for an objective presentation of the horrors of a world without faith. Stanza 5 Wherein she sees that there were bored officials and soldiers on guard. The Shield of Achilles can be read in a variety of different ways.
In essence, the poem is a description or perhaps a warning of the inevitable progression of a society that has adopted a philosophy of Nihilism. She looked over his shoulder For ritual pieties, White flower-garlanded heifers, Libation and sacrifice, But there on the shining metal Where the altar should have been, She saw by his flickering forge-light Quite another scene. The depiction of law suggests the existence of social order within one city, while feuding armies depict a darker side of humanity. The image depicted here is a travesty of Christ's ordeal. There is no sign of neighborhood and no communion.
The scene is of a concentration camp where prisoners of war are kept. Interestingly unlike the epical shield which was decorated by Hephaestus with stars and constellation, two beautiful towns full of people, scene of cultivation, a vineyard laden with grapes, herd of cattle, dancing girls and boys, the shield in question presents a scene of lifelessness, destruction and decadence of a moribund society of people. There is nothing to eat and no place of rest. This is the modern wasteland. It was specially made for Achilles by Haphaestous, the blacksmith of the Gods. The irreverence of the picture is a reminder to the crucifixion of Christ filled with overwhelming reverence. This is the picture of the modern wasteland.
Unwarranted violence, rape, broken promises and lack of humanity was the order of the day. Hephaestos is the God of fire and the metal smith who made the shield of Achilles. 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: 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. Ultimately, Patroclus is killed in battle by Hector, and Achilles' armor is stripped from his body and taken by Hector as. 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: 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.