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Sohrab and Rustum: An Episode

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By: (1822-1888)

In "Sohrab and Rustum: An Episode" by Matthew Arnold, the reader is transported to ancient Persia where two powerful warriors, father and son, meet unknowingly on the battlefield. The tension and emotions are palpable as the two warriors engage in a fierce battle, each unaware of the other's true identity.

Arnold's writing is rich with imagery and detail, bringing the ancient world to life with vivid descriptions of the landscape and the characters. The reader is easily drawn into the story, feeling the heartache and tragedy of the inevitable conclusion.

The themes of honor, duty, and fate are central to the narrative, as both Sohrab and Rustum grapple with their destinies and the consequences of their actions. The tragic ending is both heartbreaking and thought-provoking, leaving the reader with a sense of melancholy and contemplation.

Overall, "Sohrab and Rustum: An Episode" is a powerful and moving tale that explores the complexities of human relationships and the inevitability of fate. Arnold's exquisite prose and compelling storytelling make this a memorable read that will linger in the mind long after the final page is turned.

Book Description:
A young soldier born among Tartars but sired by the mighty Persian lord Rustum, serves in the Tartar army, seeking his great father. To this end, he persuades his general to call a truce and arrange for him to challenge the Persians to single combat. Should he prevail, his father will learn his whereabouts and come to him, or so he thinks, for Sohrab is unaware that his mother, fearing to lose her son, wrote to Rustum that their child was a girl. The Persians agree but have no champion until it is learned that they have recently been joined by Rustum. Although the great hero is contemplating retirement, he reluctantly agrees to be the Persians' champion provided that he may fight unknown. As a result the two warriors engage in a contest that must lead to their mutual grief regardless of who wins—unless they happen to discover their relationship before it is too late. They continually approach but fail to make this discovery until it can no longer give them joy. This tragic poem, like Oedipus Rex, is a sustained piece of dramatic irony, but it differs from that play both in that it is in epic style (though only a episode) and in that the secret which hovers so close to disclosure would produce a happy ending were it ever to break forth.

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