The Iliad, by Homer

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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. Each layer of the shield symbolizes apart of the story at large. Even though its fragment within the poem is limited, its true meaning is larger than the story itself. The shield represents as one of the vital sections of Homer’s The Iliad that creates this symbolic image. Its creativity exemplifies this view of the Shield of Achilles as special unlike any other shield ever forged. Towards the end of Book XVIII, while Hector has Achilles armor, the narrator creates a break within the story where Thetis asks Hephaestus to forge a new armor for her son Achilles. Hephaestus is the God of Fire who is humbled by Thetis, the mother of Achilles, to forge the shield. In Book XVIII, the narrator displays Hephaestus creation by casting “durable bronze on the fire, and tin, precious gold and silver (Iliad 18.510-511).” Using what Homer described as his “mighty hammer”, he mends the metals together in creating an enormous shield for the great warrior Achilles. When the shield was finished, there were five specific layers that surrounded the shield. It was magnified by adding a triple rim around the shield that ... ... middle of paper ... ...pecific details of the creation of the two cities and the immense King’s estate speak for themselves in large volumes. Its beauty of mending gold and silver together along with glorious layers of civilization was only the small story. The shield is a part of the larger story at hand with the gruesome battles of the Trojan War. Homer creates this image of both the past and present but also generates this ironic notion of the future of The Iliad. The irony serves as a vital turning point in the Iliad serving as a guide of what has happened and what is foretold to be. The shield represents the passion of Achilles in achieving honor and glory of conquering revenge but greatly reflects on the outcome of Achilles. The Shield of Achilles wasn’t meant to foreshadow the future but rather creating Achilles as one of the most legendary warriors in all of Ancient Greece.

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