Critical Essay

The Challenge of Progress: A Critical Analysis of W.H. Auden’s ‘The Shield of Achilles’ and ‘The Fall of Rome’

4 pages | 1010 words

In this essay, the author analyzes the two poems by W.H. Auden: 'The Shield of Achilles' and 'The Fall of Rome'. Both poems talk of the challenges that modern societies face compared to ancient times. In 'The Shield of Achilles', the challenge is how to preserve our values in the face of technological progress and its dehumanizing effects. The poem suggests that we should not idealize the past, but instead learn from it and strive to create a better future. In 'The Fall of Rome', the challenge is how to prevent the decline of our civilization. The poem describes the fall of Rome as a result of political corruption, moral decadence, and environmental destruction. It warns that we must take action to prevent history from repeating itself.