The Shield of Achilles by W. H Auden

The stanzas with shorter lines describe the making of the shield by the god Hyphenates, and report the scenes that Accelerometers, the Nereid Thesis, expects to find on the shield and which Hyphenates, in Addend’s version, does not make. Thesis expects to find scenes of happiness and peace like those described by Homer. The stanzas with longer lines describe the scenes that Hyphenates creates in Addend’s version, scenes of a barren and impersonal modern world. In the first, an anonymous, dispassionate army listens crowd of ordinary people watch passively.

In the third scene, a “ragged urchin” throws a stone at a bird; he takes it for granted ‘that girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,” and “has never heard of any world where remises are kept / Or one could weep because another wept,” In the closing stanza in short lines, Thesis cries out in dismay at what Hyphenates has made for her son, “who would not live long. ” The poem is frequently cited as an antiquary poem, but it is also a study in language and responsibility: both Thesis and Hyphenates act on behalf of someone else, Achilles, and they take no personal responsibility for the results.

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And the results of their passive, impersonal stance is the passive, impersonal world portrayed on the shield. An alternative reading: Aden reflects bitterly on the differences between the Achaean world as scribed by Homer?a world where, even amid warfare, imagination naturally ran to scenes of peace?and the world of totalitarian horror Aden himself imagine. At the same time, Aden criticizes Homer for attributing glory to warriors.

Addend’s moral opprobrium is directed, not at Thesis or Hyphenates, but at “the strong iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles. ” The shield described by Aden is made by the god to please Achilles: the horrid world depicted there (and not the delightful world depicted in the shield described by Homer) is the natural result of the sort of iron-hearted manslaughter Achilles, and his comrades and vials, practice. Critical Appreciation Aden was disillusioned by the totalitarian state of the modern world which completely buried the growth of the individual.

He felt that people existed as the State’ and not as the ‘Individuals He therefore reflects the contrast between the modern world and the Chilean world. Aden deliberately interprets the images drawn on the shield to speak of the ills of the modern world. Book The book The Shield of Achilles is a collection of poems in three parts, published in 1955, and containing Addend’s poems Mitten from around 1951 through 1954. It begins with the sequence “Bucolic”, then miscellaneous poems under the heading “In Sunshine and In Shade”, then the sequence Horse Canonical. Bookshops High School Teacher Educator Emeritus * Down In Run Collator’s poem, “An Old Woman, ” the main theme is about keeping what is important in perspective?in this case, an old woman and her heritage ?the land from which she comes. Someone may be walking and a woman may grab aloud of his or her sleeve, gore a price, she will take what seems to be a sightseer to a nearby shrine. The man will not interested: he has seen the shrine before. However, the woman will be insistent; the man may want to dismiss her because she is an old woman, and they cling and von let go.

The man will Tums, about to end their association, to put her in her place and demand that she leave, but she will look at him and explain that there is little else left for an old woman to do in the hills where she abides: how can she live? She seems to imply. The shock the man receives is looking at the sky, perhaps as blue as the woman’s eyes: but What Stops him is the sense that her eyes are like bullet holes?this image is shocking and riveting, as is, perhaps, his enlightened perception of this Oman and her connection to this old land.

The man will note that as he looks at the woman, and the cracks around her eyes, the cracks will seem to spread to the landscape around her: to the hills, the temples and even the sky. But he will see, as he watches, that even though the sky may fall and shatter around her, she is untouched: “shatterproof. ” In the midst of the life that has reduced her to trying to earn some money as a guide for tourists, and seen only an old woman to the tourists?not worth their time and barely worth their notice?her resolve is strong. She is a part of the land, as old as it is: she is as immovable.

She lives, the man will see, with what is made available to her. It would seem, that in the face of the man’s realization, he will feel as if he has been reduced to nothing more than his money, for he does not have that kind of connection to his land or his heritage. And perhaps, in light of the trials and tribulations of life, he is really the unimportant one?beyond the small change in his pocket? but she stands, unbreakable and strong. This poem was written by William Butler Yeats for his infant daughter, Anne. He worries about her. Maude Gonne was a radical, opinionated intelligent woman e had loved, but who had rejected his proposals.

In this poem he vents his thoughts on her. Georgia Hyde Lees was his wife. Eng 4 Atari A Prayer for my Daughter by W. B. Yeats: An Analysis by Claire Wow Stanza 1: The weather is a reflection of Yeats’ feelings. The post-war period was dangerous. Ann.’s vulnerability and innocence is symbolized by the “cradle- hood” and “coverlet. ” “And half hid” shows that Anne is barely protected by the frail “coverlet. ” Anne is oblivious to the violent forces around her; she is ignorant (she “sleeps on”; she is not awake to the violence around her), hence she is “under this cradle- DOD” which hides her and is unaffected. The forces may be riots, violence, starvation, or decay to moral values. ) “Under this charcoaled and coverlet/My child sleeps on. ” Her ignorance protects her from the uneasy knowledge hence she “sleeps on. ” Robert Gregory died. His father could not protect him from death. “The roof-leveling wind” is strong, representing frightening, turbulent forces. Mere by the haystack- and roof-leveling wind,/red on the Atlantic, can be stayed. ” USA was more comfortable compared to Europe. Turbulent forces or “wind” was less significant and more controlled in the USA Hence it ca be stayed” or controlled.

Yeats prays because he is gloomy; “great gloom In my mind. ” Tone: Frightening, precarious, gloomy. Literary devices: personification – “the storm is howling” represents threatening external forces e. G. Riots, evilness. Roof-leveling wind represents turbulent forces. Symbols – ‘Stoma” represents outside forces which threaten Ann.’s safety. “charcoaled” represents Ann.’s innocence and infancy, “coverlet” represents innocence and ignorance, frail protection. Find” represents turbulent forces, “one bare hill” may represent Roberts death. (Why is the hill bare? Replies are appreciated. The hill is empty, it may represent his death ? there is no one to occupy it. Or it may BEA hill where his tombstone lies. As have said, have no Metonymy – The author may be mistaken but “Atlantic” may be the United States of America. Rhyme scheme: backed Stanza 2: Yeats is worried about Anne. “Behave walked and prayed for this young child an hour. ” The weather reflects the threatening forces he fears. “Doodad stream” represents intense forces caused by people as it has strong forces. It is “flooded” because the troublemakers exist in large numbers or the forces are strong.

The weather or external forces caused by the war are stormy and destructive. THe “elms” are tossed due to the destructive forces. People (possibly represented by “elms”) are affected. Tone intense, anxious, frenetic, chaotic, This is rather desperate and pessimistic but there is a shift of mood. ‘Imagining ” When Yeats starts to imagine, he helps his daughter; he decides how she should turn out. This appeases his worries and gives him new ideas and food for thought. He imagines how her future will be excitedly. “Imagining… The future years had come,’Dancing to a frenzied drum. Ann.’s life ill pass in “Dancing to a frenzied drum” also indicates the passing years in Ann.’s life which are represented by drum-beats (which have rhythm and tempo) – Which also symbolize violence and chaos. It is a violent and chaotic time. The drum is “frenzied” because of the danger and chaos around Anne. Furthermore, Yeats is excited (hence frenzied) for her to grow up. Ann.’s innocence is juxtaposed With the contrasting “sea” Which is “murderous. ” The sea represents the world and the crowds around her, and as they are evil, destructive and take advantage of her innocence, they are “murderous. Moreover, the “sea” or the world is termed as “murderous innocence” because as part of the “sea”, Ann.’s innocence is ‘murderous’ to herself because it enables others to manipulate her. Tone: frenetic, maddening, excited. Literary devices: symbols – “sea wind” , “flooded stream” ? turbulent forces personification – “future years dancing” – the passing years of life Juxtaposition/oxymoron/paradox – “murderous innocence of the sea” Sibilance ? “seaming scream Assonance:”sea-wind scream” Onomatopoeia – “scream” Stanza 3: Yeats hopes that Anne will be beautiful but not excessively. May she be ranted beauty and yet not,’tatty to make a strangers eye distraught. ” Beauty is distracting and destructive, because it causes an admirer to be “distraught” and unhappy as a result of this unfulfilled desire to possess this beauty. Besides, he may desire her negatively and steal her innocence. It inspires passion Which may be hopeless. She should not be vain and conceited of her beauty. “Or hers before a looking-glass. ) Yeats fears that beauty Will make her think that it is sufficient, for beauty would help her.

Beautiful people being more attractive can benefit more, and with this attribute, Anne may think that she needs not reform acts of goodness, for her beauty is sufficient to place her in a position of security and acceptance. This causes her to lose “natural kindness”. She does not see or appreciate the values of kindness and virtue. She would think herself superior and strive less without helping others. They do not have to be kind and despise the physically undesirable, Furthermore, their beauty allows them to be fastidious in their choice to partners, having many admirers.

Hence, they do not choose the right person as they have no heart or soul, “Lose the heart- revealing intimacy/ That chooses right. ” They cannot love truly and care for inner and shallow qualities, for they cannot truly feel or know who “the one” is. They are sought for. The right person would in the end be more drawn to a good woman as shown in stanza S. “Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned. ” Beauty obstructs friendship as being as being beautiful causes one to be condescending malicious and take things for granted. It causes the loss Of human touch for the beautiful may tend to boast and despise their inferiors.

They are not true friends. In another perspective, they do not form true friendships because others befriend them for the benefits derived from their appearance and even take advantage Of them. The beautiful do not pay attention to those who make true friends as they believe themselves superior in beauty, fashion, etc. Etc. Furthermore, excessive beauty results in jealousy and broken friendships. Another point to make is that beauty that over-entices may decrease Ann.’s virtue and increase her vulnerability as others wish to use her.

This is crucial as in this poem, Yeats emphasizes the need for feminine innocence, In contrast, a plainer person being on a lower hierarchy will appreciate the importance of kindness. In this context, beauty is equated with society hollowness. Tone: imploring, beseeching, prayer-like, reflective. Literary devices: personification – “stranger’s eye distraught” – attracts and saddens one who is attracted Symbol – the “stranger is an unhappy admirer. Alliteration – “stranger’s eye distraught”. Stanza 4 : Yeats speaks of Greek mythology.

Helen of Troy, being the most beautiful woman in the world, married Paris, a stupid man. Quote: “Helen being chosen found life flat and dull / And later had much trouble from 3 fool. ” As she was greatly admired and revered for her beauty, life was boring with little strife. Mile that great queen, that rose out of the spray, being fatherless could have her ways,’ Yet chose a bandy-legged smith for man. ” Venus or Aphrodite, being fatherless. Could marry as she pleased with no parental authority. Yet with all her power and advantages “chose a bandy-legged smith for man” (Hyphenates) – someone inferior to her.

She had no father to guide her. Yeats intends to guide his daughter in the choice of a suitable spouse. Yeats is scornful: cultured women make mad choices in spouses, “Fine women eat/ A crazy salad with their meat. ” Meat is substantial; salad is not. Meat represents a fine lady who can be said to e “substantial,” having numerous qualities; the “crazy salad” is their dreadful mate, who is devoid to many qualities. They can have more, but choose worse. The Homo of Plenty was a horn given by Zeus to his caretaker. The possessor of this Horn would be granted his wishes. Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone. ” This is because Maude Gonne squandered her gifts of intellect, grace and beauty and the benefits she could command by marrying John McBride. She could obtain what she desired with these gifts – similar to the Horn of Plenty – and wasted the aforementioned gifts on McBride. As the Horn of Plenty could bring actualities McBride is symbolized as an unsubstantial “salad. ” Maude Gonne wasted her supposed power; she could have done better for herself, instead she made the wrong choice or desire. Tone: cynical, sad, troubled, scornful.

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