Preview
Preview

The Shield of Achilles in Homer's Iliad Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1091 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Throughout the Iliad the warriors' dream of peace is projected over and over again in elaborate similes developed against a background of violence and death. Homer is able to balance the celebration of war's tragic, heroic values with scenes of battle and those creative values of civilized life that war destroys. The shield of Achilles symbolically represents the two poles of human condition, war and peace, with their corresponding aspects of human nature, the destructive and creative, which are implicit in every situation and statement of the poem and are put before us in something approaching abstract form; its emblem is an image of human life as a whole.

 

Forged by Hephaestus, this shield includes all manner of imagery to dazzle and overawe Achilles' opponents. Made out of bronze, tin, and priceless gold and silver, this glittering, triple-ply "world of gorgeous immortal work" is blazoned with "well-wrought emblems across its surface." Starting out describing the earth, the sea, and the sky, Homer goes into detail and uses imagery to talk about such specifics as the "blazing sun," the "moon rounding full," and "the constellations, all that crown the heavens." .

 

He then starts going into detail about the two mortal cities. The first city opens with a description of a wedding and a wedding feast. Sharing details such as the glowing torches, the choirs singing, the young men dancing with flutes and harps, and the women who rushed to the doors, were moved with wonder. Then it goes into a mass of people streaming into the marketplace where a quarrel had broken out and two men struggled over the blood-price for a kinsman just murdered. Their quarreling is settled when they call for a ...


... middle of paper ...


...r to Menelaus now. Thee tapestry is too intricately woven, so as the central blame is Helen, most of the individuals involved are in the war for widely different motives.

 

This war involves a human side, including the admission of fear and scenes of domestic life, not in a sentimentalized version. This more complete and responsible depiction shows that there's not one single center to the war, just as there's not one single god for the Greeks.

 

Running along the outermost rim of the shield is the Ocean River, the river that is at once the barrier between the quick and the dead, and also the frontier of the known and imagined worlds. One of the last descriptions on the shield, this river could perhaps be a symbol for total inclusiveness and eternity, and for the stability of the larger perspective.

 

 

 


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Homer’s Iliad - The Shield of Achilles Essay - Homer’s Iliad - The Shield of Achilles Homer devotes the final passages of Book 18 of The Iliad to the description of the shield of Achilles. Only a quarter of the description concerns warfare, the essential grist of the epic. Instead, the bulk of the description presents a peaceful society and rural idylls, a curious choice for the most ferocious warrior of the Greeks, and an odd thing for both armies to fear. A narrative emerges from the scenes of the shield, and it is this that fits Achilles and repulses everyone else....   [tags: Iliad essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1597 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about The Iliad, by Homer - The Iliad written by Homer in the days of Ancient Greece has become one of the most epic poems of all time. It is a poem that has been debated for centuries. Within the tale of Achilles and the wrath of war lies a magnificent object that is shortly mentioned in Book 18. The brief section in Book XVIII, lines 505-660, described the shield that Achilles would carry into battle. However, it also tells us something about the nature of Achilles and his heroic image full of rage and anger. In order to understand the significance of the Shield of Achilles, one must closely look within the different layers of the shield itself....   [tags: Shield of Achilles] 966 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Achilles' Shield Essay - As long as there is thought there will always be debate as to the relevance and applications of any figure that has potential symbolism deeper than its appearance. We see it with the Bible, with its accompanying fundamentalism, literalism, interpretationalism, and its downright detractors. Attention given to an object for such a prolonged time is bound to foster battleground for linguists, philosophers, and literary scholars. Additionally, we see it with the Shield of Achilles in Homer's The Iliad....   [tags: The Iliad Essays] 745 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Free Essays - The Message of Homer's Iliad - The Message of Homer's Iliad In Homer's Iliad, Homer shows his views on heroes, villains, and war. He shows that heroes have great qualities to them and that villains have evil qualities to them. He also shows that even heroes have villainous qualities. Homer also tries to convey that all warriors have a choice between a life of war and a life of peace. Homer's view of a hero displays bravery, martial skills, and even friendship. Hector is portrayed as the perfect hero in The Iliad....   [tags: Iliad essays] 786 words
(2.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Hector as the Ideal Homeric Man of Homer's Iliad - Hector as the Ideal Homeric Man of Homer's Iliad        Homer's Iliad enthralls readers with its’ valiant heroes who fight for the glory of Greece. The Iliad, however, is not just a story of war; it is also a story of individuals. Through the characters' words and actions, Homer paints portraits of petulant Achilles and vain Agamemnon, doomed Paris and Helen, loyal Patroclus, tragic Priam, versatile Odysseus, and the whole cast of Gods. Ironically, the most complete character in the epic is Hector, enemy hero, and Prince of Troy....   [tags: Iliad essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1371 words
(3.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on A Comparison of Achilles and Hector - Homer's Iliad refers to an ancient epic Greek poem. The poem is based on the events of the Trojan War, the siege of the Troy city by a combination of Greek states that took almost ten years. The poem outlines the events and battle that took place between the Greeks and the Trojans. The events captured in the poem cover a few weeks to the end of the war. However, the poem contains deep Greek mythical allusion. It describes the great Greek legends involved in the siege, the events that occurred before the actual war such as meeting of the warriors planning the siege, the reason and the foundation of the battle and the events that happened in the beginning....   [tags: The Iliad Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
865 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Achilles Shield Essay - Achilles’ shield, made by Hephaestus, the god of fire, plays a part in the Iliad. It tells the story of the war between the Greeks and the Trojans. Hephaestus depicts the two cities and the activities going on in them, and Agamemnon’s, the Greek’s king, estate. Homer thought that seeing what it is on the shield could help the reader understand the importance of Achilles' shield and the Iliad. Hephaestus used fine metals and put lots of scenes of things going on not only in that time period but also in respect to the Iliad’s plot....   [tags: Free Essay Writer] 515 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Achilles: The Tragic Hero Essay - The Iliad, the Greek epic documented by Homer that describes the battles and events of the ten year siege on Troy by the Greek army. Both Trojans and Greeks had their fair share of heroes and warriors, but none could match the skill and strength of the swift runner, Achilles. Achilles had the attributes of a perfect warrior with his god-like speed and combat abilities. However, even though he was Greek’s greatest warrior, he still possessed several flaws that made him fit the role of the Tragic Hero impeccably....   [tags: The Iliad Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
936 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
To what extent do you regard The Shield Of Achilles as characteristic Essay - To what extent do you regard The Shield Of Achilles as characteristic of Auden’s work as whole. At first glance Auden’s poem the ‘Shield of Achilles’ appears to be focused on the classical world. The poem’s classical nature is first indicated by the title- Achilles was of course a famous Greek hero, and throughout the poem there are further classical references, many of which Auden has 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)....   [tags: English Literature] 964 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Iliad - "The Iliad", an epic tale told by the famous Greek author Homer, is focused primarily on the Trojan War between the Greeks, or Argives, and the Trojans. This war was filled with bloody battles and a massive loss of life. Homer tells stories about a duration of time during this fighting, and not the entire war. He uses his story-telling abilities to focus the audience on the garish and sometimes mundane drudgery of war. Due to his removal from the actual time of these battles, his stories may be embellished or not completely accurate descriptions of what did or did not happen....   [tags: essays research papers] 1503 words
(4.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]