posted by Michelle on .
I have to turn this paper in, would anyone be able to look at it for correct citation, I don't want to plagerise, it needs to be MLA format. It's a strange paper, we were asked to compare four stories to war. I don't think I did a good job, but this is all I could do.
Professor Laura Bates
English Literature 338-301
July 8, 2010
War and Their Many Causes
Even though undefined, wars have been fought for many different reasons; such as, for love, for glory, for honor or just because of plain evilness. I believe War and Peace, The Iliad, Henry IV and Richard III are all wars that can linked to one of these “reasons”
In War and Peace, we see the love triangle of two people and how war has brought them together. Pierre Bezukhov, whose wife has recently died and Natasha Rostova, who has been involved with several different men, are brought together by Princess Mary. Pierre is asked to reflect on some of his war stories. “He told of his adventures as he had never yet recalled them. He now, as it were, saw a new meaning in all he had gone through. Now that he was telling it all to Natasha he experienced that pleasure which a man has when women listen to him- not clever women who when listening either try to remember what they hear to enrich their minds and when opportunity offers to retell it, or who wish to adopt it to some thought of their own and promptly contribute their own clever comments prepared in their little mental workshop- but the pleasure given by real women gifted with a capacity to select and absorb the very best a man shows of himself. Natasha without knowing it was all attention: she did not lose a word, no single quiver in Pierre's voice, no look, no twitch of a muscle in his face, nor a single gesture. She caught the unfinished word in its flight and took it straight into her open heart, divining the secret meaning of all Pierre's mental travail.
Princess Mary understood his story and sympathized with him, but she now saw something else that absorbed all her attention. She saw the possibility of love and happiness between Natasha and Pierre, and the first thought of this filled her heart with gladness.” (Tolstoy). Here we see how war can change a person; Pierre’s experiences enabled him to realize what was important to him; he wanted to fine someone he could truly love and that person was Natasha.
In Richard III, we see a man who was truly evil and would do anything and everything possible to obtain is one and only obsession, to be king. .Richard, Duke of Gloucester, appears alone on a London Street and announces to the audience his plans to overthrow his brother, King Edward IV. Richard is evil—so evil, in fact, that he derives immense satisfaction from committing vile deeds. There appears to be a measure of revenge—against nature, against the world and its people—in his motives. For he was born into this world as a lame hunchback, “deformed, unfinished . . . scarce half made up” (1. 1. 22-23). His misshapen form annoys even the dogs that bark at him as he limps by. Cheated of the fairness of feature that marks others around him, he decides to cheat them of position, power, even life. His vengefulness abets another—perhaps even stronger—motive: ambition. Richard covets the throne and will stop at nothing to get it. (Cummings)
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other. (32-37)
This excerpt illustrates just have evil Richard III was by having both of his brothers killed just to be king. Richard’s war was more of a personal war than one fought against others. The duchess of York, the mother of Richard, Clarence, and King Edward knows how evil her son really is and she grieves that she ever gave birth to him. (Shakespeare)
In Henry IV, we see two different men’s point of view related to honor. Hotspur, a military-minded young man. He feels that honor has to do with glory on the battlefield and with defending one’s reputation and good name against any perceived insult. (Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1)
By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap,
To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced moon,
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honour by the locks;
So he that doth redeem her thence might wear
Without corrival, all her dignities:
But out upon this half-faced fellowship!
(Shakespeare, The First Part of King Henry the fourth)
For the complex Prince Harry, honor seems to be associated with noble behavior, but for long stretches of time Harry is willing to sacrifice the appearance of honor for the sake of his own goals, confident that he can regain his honor at will. (Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1)
“Yet herein will I imitate the Sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother-up his beauty from the world,
That when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted he may be more wondered at
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapors that did seem to strangle him”
(Shakespeare, Henry IV Part 1)
In The Iliad, we see Achilles, who wins eternal glory by explicitly rejecting the option of a long, comfortable, uneventful life at home. (Homer)
On the flip side of glory, Old Priam, the King of Troy and the father of Hector, shows that Trojan valor has not died with Hector. At great risk to himself, he crosses the battlefield in a chariot and presents himself to Achilles to claim the body of his son. But there is no anger in Priam's heart. He understands the ways of wars and warriors. He knows that Achilles, the greatest of the Greek soldiers, had no choice but to kill his son, the greatest of the Trojan warriors. Humbly, Priam embraces Achilles and gives him his hand. Deeply moved, Achilles welcomes Priam and orders an attendant to prepare Hector's body. To spare Priam the shock of seeing the grossly disfigured corpse, Achilles orders the attendant to cloak it. Troy mourns Hector for nine days, then burns his body and puts the remains in a golden urn that is buried in a modest grave. (Cummings, The Iliad by Homer: A Study Guide) Here Achilles shows Old Priam, his pride and glory and honors the death of Hector by releasing his body to his father.
In conclusion, there are many causes of war: for love, for glory, for honor or just because of plain evilness. Until the end of time, there will always be war, but what is remembered is how the battle was fought. War and Peace, Richard III, Henry IV and The Iliad were all powerful stories in their own way and they all symbolized the different causes of war.