W. H. Auden: Poems

The Shield of Achilles

Is there is a theory that believes that the shield of Achilles was based on some real atifact?


Is it true there are no happy socieites, like the one in the shield, in other parts of the Homeric epics?


Is it true "the lord with his sceptre" in the shield may give an indication of the kind of king that the leaders of the Greeks might be at their return?


Does the author believe the shield is a microcosm?


Does Oliver Taplin think that the Iliad is a pacifist poem?

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1) I cannot find any evidence of a theory that points to this poem being written as a result of a real artifact.

4) Critic Scott Horton argues that the poem has contemporary resonance for Auden and his audience, reflecting a warning about the Cold War and the authoritarian warmongering of the 1950s: “Auden is not portraying the tragedies of the last war as such. He is warning of a world to come in which totalitarian societies dominate and the worth and dignity of the individual human being are lost. He warns those who stand by, decent though they may seemingly be, and say nothing.” This perspective is supported by anachronistic images on the shield. Thetis sees a scene that seems more like one from the Second World War: barbed wire around a military base. Modern war engages “millions” and spreads propaganda through “statistics.”



If there is anyway you can answer each of those questions with a true/false I would be exteremly grateful. I am not expecting anyone to get them all rigth, just asking for someone to make an effort with what ever knowledge they have of the poem. thank you