At first glance Auden’s poem the ‘Shield of Achilles’ seems to be focused on the classical community. The poem’s classical characteristics is first indicated by the title- Achilles was of course a famous Ancient greek language hero, and throughout the composition there are even more classical recommendations, many of which will Auden offers taken from Book XVIII of Homer’s Iliad- ‘Marble well-governed cities’ (l.
3), ‘… athletes at their games’ (l. 46), ‘Hephaestos, hobbled away’ (l. 61). Nevertheless , the composition also combines these time-honored details with the modern world- ‘Proved simply by statistics’ (l. 17), ‘Barbed wire enclosed an arbitrary spot’ (l.
31). Although there is this unconventional combination of classical and modern, the poem can be seen as timeless: Column by column in a impair of dirt They marched away everlasting a idea Whose common sense brought them, somewhere else, to grief. (‘The Shield of Achilles’ lmost all. 21-23) Here the armed service who are ‘enduring a belief’ (l.
21) they are doing good is often as easily appropriate to the modern day (i. e. the situation in Iraq) about classical occasions. The classic nature from the poem can be stated to be a characteristic feature as it appears in other poems such as ‘Gare man Midi’: … clutching slightly case. He walks away briskly to infect a town Whose bad future may have just appeared. (‘Gare I Midi’, ll. 6-8) Here we are triggered believe that a man is about to unleash a bad weapon on the city and although the poem was written in 12 , 1938, their proleptic characteristics allows the poem to become much more in touch with the world’s present fears1. The timelessness nature of Auden’s poems can perhaps be explained by his underlining of the cyclical nature of human history.
Auden implies in ‘ The Shield Of Achilles’ that although the framework of warfare may change through background, the content doesn’t; war is generally irrational: Where logic brought them, somewhere else, to tremendous grief. (‘The Protect of Achilles’, l. 22) Auden’s use of occasional current day diction (‘statistics’, l. 17) allows us to appreciate that he’s also referring to modern day scenarios. Thus Auden is also suggesting that human beings don’t ever before learn contact form their blunders; we continue to go to battle. Auden also refers to this cyclical mother nature in ‘September 1, 1939′ Exiled Thucydides knew… The habit-forming pain, Mismanagement and grief: We have to suffer them all again (‘September 1, 1939′, ll.
23-33) Here Auden is when we talk about the Athenian philosopher and historian Thucydides who is once again underlining that human history could keep repeating mainly because humans do not seem to study from it: To get the present stalk abroad Just like the past as well as its wronged again Whimper and are ignored… (‘A Walk After Dark’, ll. 31-33) those who ‘whimper’ continue being ‘ignored’ by those in power and thus mistakes continue to be made. In the same way in ‘The Shield Of Achilles’, the ‘strong iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles’ (ll.
65-6) is seen as an excellent hero in classical instances because of his warrior position. However , in today’s world the general notion of Achilles would be particularly different as violent, warrior-like attitudes to problems are increasingly condemned by simply today’s world; the respond to a “well-aimed stone” (l. 55) shouldn’t be to throw a stone backside. It is this type of moral “vacancy”(l. 54) leading warriors to wreak devastation upon society.
Consequently it had been history’s problem to celebrate warriors and Auden is suggesting that we shouldn’t continue to idealize them since they are bearers of havoc is to do ‘not live long’ (l. 67), and equally don’t allow others to live long either. The contrast among fantasy and reality is shown in ‘The Shield of Achilles’ when ever Thetis, Achilles’ mother, checks the safeguard: But presently there on the glowing metal … She observed by his flickering forge-light Quite another scene. (ll. 27-30) Thetis has fantasised about locating a pastoral idyll in the Safeguard, but what the lady actually finds out are scenes of horror- ‘a weed-choked field’ (l.
52). Just like ‘Moon Landing’, an occasional composition written to mark the landing of Apollo eleven in 69, the celestial satellite itself has been idealised as an amazing, best place- ‘worth going to find? I can well believe it’ (‘Moon Landing’, l. 21). The celestial body overhead was very much something that many fantasized regarding visiting.
But when the celestial body overhead is actually viewed on the television all the fantasies are broken because it is no longer a mystical, idyllic place- ‘Worth finding? Mneh! ‘(‘Moon Landing’, l. 22)- it may be besmirched simply by man’s presence. It is very clear from Auden’s poetry that he mistrusts idealistic dreams like those sought by Thetis, one example is in ‘Epitaph on a Tyrant’, Auden criticises the ideal of perfection: Flawlessness, of a kind, was what he was following, … And once he cried the little kids died within the streets. (‘Epitaph on a Tyrant’, ll.
1-6) The poem is talking about a dictator whose tips of efficiency, which cause kids to ‘die on the streets’, are one other man’s disturbing dreams, thus excellence should not often be strove pertaining to. Although like many of Auden’s poems ‘The Shield Of Achilles’ is usually characteristic in a few features, it truly is perhaps not possible to outline a feature Auden composition. ‘The Protect of Achilles’ lacks a large number of features that would make it characteristic. For instance , poems such as ‘Moon Landing’ and a ‘Walk Following Dark’ will be rife with colloquial (‘Mneh’- ‘Moon Landing’, ll.
22) and recherchi? (‘Lacrimae rerum’- ‘A Walk After Dark’, l. 30) language, although ‘ The Shield of Achilles features non-e, rather the language inside the poem obeys the poem’s principle of contrast- this alternates among classical and modern language. Therefore it’s reasonable to say that there are many re-occurring styles throughout Auden’s poems, although not that there are entire poems which are ‘characteristic’. one particular It is notable that ‘Ist September 1939′ appeared on many websites following your September 11th attacks in 2001.