They only knew that Achilles was a great hero, that he had superhuman strength and courage and that he was supremely handsome. Homer painted a more nuanced picture:
The Shield of Achilles: Symbol in Iliad You are here: English The Shield of Achilles: Symbol… The shield of Achilles plays a major part in the Iliad.
It portrays the story of the Achaeans and their fight against the Trojans in a microcosm of the larger story. He begins with twenty hot bellows and fires bronze, tin, gold, and silver in his kiln.
He then proceeds to hammer the metals upon his anvil to create a massive shield for Achilles to wield. The shield itself is made of five layers of metal with a triple ply shield strap edging on the rim.
Once Hephaestus completes the shield he makes a breastplate and helmet for Achilles. The armor he forges is indestructible and worthy of a god. The two cities depicted on the shield represent a city in Greece and Troy.
One of the cities is filled with men dancing and singing and brides marching through the streets, while the other is circled by an army. This army has two plans which split their ranks: Turmoil surrounds each city.
In one a quarrel breaks out and is brought to judgment. Surrounding the other, two armies fight along the river banks killing men and dragging off the dead. Both cities are tainted with death, and both house love.
In the former two men quarrel over the blood price for a murdered kinsman and take their case to a judge to decide the outcome.
In the latter, children and housewives stand guard as the men march out to war. This scene is analogous to the Trojans leaving to fight the Achaeans between their shores and the city.
Bountiful harvests of ripe grain are reaped and bound, and the king stands in silence rejoicing among the endless bundle of barley. An ox is being prepared for the harvest feast while the women fix the midday meal. The shield also shows a thriving vineyard with a winding footpath on which the pickers run.
Among the pickers is a young boy who plays his lyre and sings a lovely dirge. A herd of longhorn cattle is also shown. A pair of lions seizes a bull from the front and proceed to devour it. A pack of dogs and herdsmen run to aid, but it is too late.
The smith also forges a meadow for the flocks to graze and a dancing circle for young boy and girls to court and dance. The scene brings forth a festive and joyous mood. As you can see, the shield of Achilles is a finely detailed and intricate piece of craftsmanship suitable for a god.
Not only do they hold beauty in the intricacies, they also serve to represent the larger story of the Iliad and the war between the Achaeans and the Trojans. It serves to remind the reader of what has taken place, as shown in the battle scenes, while setting the scene for what is to come. It acts as a pause for the reader to step back and absorb the meaning of the events prior, and foreshadows the fall of Troy.The Shield of Achilles is described in one of the most famous passages of Homer's Iliad, and is rich in symbolism and detailed imagery.
This lesson will describe the appearance of the shield and. The Significance of Achilles’ Shield. This is the extraordinary significance of the shield of Achilles.
It is an archaeological treasure buried within the pages of Homer’s Iliad. Not buried under the ancient earth, it is accessible to all, with the same exquisite quality of view, both telescopic and microscopic, as any ancient artifact. Achilles's shield depicts all the modes of life. Love, death, war, peace, farming and festivals, sieges and battles—everything is represented on the shield, which Achilles both uses to protect.
Achilles's shield depicts all the modes of life. Love, death, war, peace, farming and festivals, sieges and battles—everything is represented on the shield, which Achilles both uses to protect.
A summary of Themes in Homer's The Iliad. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Iliad and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as . The Shield of Achilles is the shield that Achilles uses in his fight with Hector, famously described in a passage in Book 18, lines – of Homer's Iliad.
The intricately detailed imagery on the shield has inspired many different interpretations of its significance, with no definitive answer.