The Shield Of Achilles Analysis

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Another poem of Auden which is loyal to the same strategy as the other one, it is The Shields of Achilles. In this poem, the mean of ekphrasis is reflected through the shield in which has been described in the poetry of Homer. The shields of Achilles is based on an event in Iliad of Homer, in which Thetis, the mother of Achilles, asks from Hephaestus to hammer a “shield” for her son during the Trojan War (1762-Severn, Auden). The shield that Hephaestus tries to construct is the ekphrastic mean of the poem in which Auden tries to exhibits his view and beliefs about that particular period which is written, that is to say, 1952 when Europe exits from the Great War but there is a danger to be involved in another one. In the stanzas with the shorter…show more content…
It is as if that the stanzas are divided, those stanzas that Thetis expects to see and those of how actually the things are, the first are alleged the reality with a more romanticized way and the other are presented with a rather tough and harsh reality which is as if a battlefield. In this poem, Auden wants to demonstrate his concerns for a contingent war, the poem is written in the period after the Great War which inevitably follows the period of Cold War. In a way, through the poem, Auden tries to make its readers think more reasonable and be aware of the consequences that would have in a possible war. In the last stanza, when Hephaestos reveals to Thetis the whole true about the shield “Hephaestos, hobbled away,... Out in dismay ”, the fact that her son Achilles died during the war(66-68). The descriptions that are provided in the poem, remind the recent events of the war and Auden uses them so as to recall people’s memory and to function as an example to be avoided. Furthermore, in the last stanza in which Thetis becomes aware of her son and then she falls into a great despair, here the poet wants to highlight the cruel repercussions that a war has in the everyday life of people and the essential need of avoidance
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