W. H. AUDEN QUESTIONS

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Assigned: W.H. Auden. "In Praise of Limestone" (2435-36); "The Shield of Achilles" (2437-38); "Poetry as Memorable Speech" (2438-41).

"In Praise of Limestone"

1. How has limestone shaped the people of Yorkshire, according to the speaker? Aside from limestone's power as a symbol, what limitations of this rock's symbolic value does the speaker introduce towards the poem's end?

"The Shield of Achilles" (1372-73)

2. How does this poem about the creation of an "ekphrastic" shield (look up the term "ekphrasis") address the concept of heroism in the modern world? What does the classical setting add to the poem -- why, that is, describe modern suffering and values through a story about Greek gods and heroes?

Edition: Greenblatt, Stephen et al, eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th ed. Vol. E. New York: Norton, 2006. ISBN Package 2 (Vols. DEF) 0-393-92834-9.