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Logue's Homer, War Music "The theme of respect for the warrior code"

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Sam Acton Upper Canada College 0838 World Literature Assignment #2 Commentary Logue's Homer, War Music "The theme of respect for the warrior code" Word count: 1495 This is my own unaided work except as outlined below. Sam Acton This commentary will focus primarily on the theme of respect for the warrior code, while also examining how Logue's diction at specific points aids in developing not only the aforementioned theme, but the plot and the flow of the epic poem itself. I have chosen a passage (from page 95 "Dear Ek" to page 97 "Agreed")1 that I feel accentuates the theme of respect for the warrior code; it also features speeches by both Menelaos and Paris which serve as useful points of comparison in order to learn more about the warrior code. Before I begin, I feel it necessary to attempt to define this code by stating some key features of it: a warrior takes responsibility for his actions, he has an almighty respect for the gods and their superiority, a respect for combat as a way of settling a conflict, a respect for rank and seniority, a respect for ancestry and older generations, and a respect for an opponent. ...read more.


Paris tells the Greek Lords sternly, "As for yourselves: you shall, before we fight / Baptize your truce with sacrificial blood, / And pray that you may keep the word you give"(95/96). Similarly Menelaos firmly states, "Priam shall...offer Heaven their blood, / For only he is King enough to make / Certain that Ilium keeps what Ilium gives"(96/97). Logue intentionally parallels these speeches so closely to show how universal the warrior code is in that these two characters, which are distinct and quite different, both react similarly when confronted with the situation of single combat. The fourth key feature of the two speeches is the most interesting as it reveals one of the most integral components of the warrior code: respect for an opponent. Paris' words "No matter who shall live"(96) are analogous to Menelaos' words "It does not matter which one dies"(96) in that neither of the characters outwardly display confidence of victory, which reveals their mutual respect as warriors, thus a mutual respect of the warrior code. Furthermore, this theme of respect for the warrior code is not isolated to these two major characters; it is prevalent in the behaviors of the armies of both sides. ...read more.


This deeper meaning of Logue's epic simile is textually supported as the representation of the armies by opposing colours has already taken place in the form of the sacrificial lambs, "a black for Greece, a white for Troy"(96). There is an alternate deeper meaning of the epic simile in my opinion and it has to do with the superiority of the gods. The point of view of the aircrews over the Iwo Jima Deep is analogous to that of the gods over the Trojan War. To extend this comparison, the tsunamis seem very major at the water surface just as the Trojan War seems major to the armies, but from the aircrew's perspective the tsunamis are merely ripples just as from the god's perspective the war is inconsequential and they can control the outcome just as easily as the schoolgirl can flick her velveteen from bright to dark. The significance of this passage to the poem War Music is clear as close to every sentence in it ties into a major theme of the poem; a respect for the warrior code. The text develops the theme most predominantly in the form of dialogue and behavior, but Logue subtly uses diction to extend the significance of this theme to the piece as a whole. ...read more.

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