The Building of the Ship Thesis

When the Greeks sailed to Troy to win back Helen, the wife of King Menelaus, they ended up at war with the Trojans. The Greeks and Trojans fought for ten long years, but neither had the upper hand and neither would give up. Finally, Odysseus thought of a brilliant idea. He thought to build a giant wooden horse. When the horse was fully constructed, an elite group of fighters were hidden inside the horse to unlock the giant gate at the front of Troy. The Greeks sailed away to make it look like they had given up. The Trojans brought this horse back into their city without knowledge of its secret. That night, these fighters in the horse let in the army of the Greeks and won the Trojan War. While the Greeks could have given up, they remained even though their army could have been slaughtered. Just as the Greeks realized the potential danger, the men continued to build even though the ship could be destroyed. In the poem “The Building of the Ship,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, these craftsmen did their job, and they realized their ship had a secret. These builders were correct in building this magnificent craft even though it was difficult. Because the ship was full of splendor, it was as well-built as a ship could be, and it had a character unmatched by any vessel, these engineers acted in reflection of the heroes in the battle for Troy. The builders paid heed to their calling to keep at their work even when it was tough.

First of all, the builders were right to build the ship because of its magnificent beauty. As the builders created the vessel, it grew to become wonderful. “Till after many a week, at length, Wonderful for form…” (184). When the builders imagined something gorgeous, those individuals went to extreme measures in order to construct that magnificence. Magnificence was a great motivator to people. That beauty created a sense of yearning in the builders that caused them to strive to finish the craft. Nevertheless one may say, why go to the trouble when it could have been destroyed? The ocean was perilous. Nevertheless, is it not better to see beauty once than never at all? Seeing splendor was important to people in that time. Also, the way the craft moved through the water was beautiful. As the men built the ship, they built it with curves that made it stunning in motion. “With graceful curve and slow degrees, That she might be docile to the helm.” (46). When the poem stated “With graceful curve,” it illustrated the majestic qualities of the vessel. As it moved through the water, it parted the seas in a way that was remarkable. As soon as a human saw a ship that he had crafted which was moving, he would have a feeling of wonder inside himself. “Ships never come back!” you may say. The sea demolishes ships in its tempests and waves. It is true that heaps of ships get destroyed, but in the wreckage something does still survive. “And in the wreck of noble lives Something immortal still survives!” (377-338). Even though this ship may die, the beauty of the vessel lives forever. Majesty and beauty served as excellent causes for building this ship. The builders saw this majesty before it was created and built it even in the threatening of the seas.

As well as for the beauty of the vessel, the strength of it was just as much of a factor for building the ship. This ship would be able to with stand the disasters of the sea. “That shall laugh at all disaster” (3). The builders took up the challenge to build this ship that would be capable of withstanding the danger of the sea. It would be the great victor in the fight for survival out in the ocean. If you are still asking why go to the trouble, then understand this. If one person was challenged by someone far stronger than himself, what would he do? A brave man challenged the strength of the individual. He used strong equipment to fight with this giant, and in this case it would have been the ship. Being a tool against the sea’s wrath, it was required to be strong. They built it to be a safe ship. “We shall safely reach the Fortunate Isles…” (338-339). The ability to would be somewhere over a merciless sea that was beating the ship with gigantic waves and still be safe was an enormous feat. Also, the “Fortunate Isles” were most likely named because ships could barely make it there. This ship sailed would have sailed up to them without trouble. Furthermore, the anchor was made strong for this ship. When a storm hit, it would be immovable and hold fast to the ground. “And near it the anchor whose giant hand Would reach down and grapple with the land,” (204-205). When the ship was hit by the blow of the sea, its anchor would allow it to pass through the tempest. Even if a hurricane hit the vessel, it would be safe and find its way to the Fortunate Isles without trouble. Because of the might of this vessel, it was safe and could not be moved. Therefore, this proved that the creators of the ship made the accurate decision of building the vessel.

Last of all, the identity of the ship provided a reason for the builders to go to the trouble to create the vessel. The ship will be the best ship to depart to sea. When the builder stated, “Erelong we will launch A vessel as goodly, and strong, and stanch, As ever weathered a wintry sea!” (14-16). To have the greatest ship ever to leave to sea was worth the trouble put into the boat. The builders were accurate in going through the trouble because building the best ship in the world was a great accomplishment. Reputation was vital to the builders and being the best let them live up to their name. What about the rocks and the false lights that the sea produced? As stated, being something for a little while and losing it was still greater than never trying. Being the best has always been the goal for humanity, and the sailors wanted that glory. Moreover, the nobleness and gallantness of the ship proved the motive as proper. The ship was being built as the poem stated the foreshadowing, “The keel of oak for a noble ship…” (136). Being noble was a cause worth fighting for. This vessel would help others over its own desires. This ship was made from trees that were taken from faraway places (228-246). They were carried away, never to see their home again. The timbers were reminded of their home in Maine by the stress of the wind, yet they still strode on carrying the sailors. These trees cared for others over than themselves. Except wind and wave and the mystery of the sea rose up against the ship! Being noble was worth more than bumps and bruises in those days. The sailors had the cause to build the ship. It was the identity of the ship that helped prove the worth of building this craft.

Just as the Greeks fought to gain back Helen, the builders created the ship to be as worthy and noble as a ship could be. Nobleness was a feature of a man to the Greeks and to the builders. The Greeks were so upset at the cowardly and unrighteous deed of Paris, the man that stole Helen, that they would not stop fighting until Helen had returned. The builders built this ship to be noble so that it would not fall into unrighteous and cowardly deeds like Paris’ vile action. The builders had not chanced upon nobleness, but they went looking for it. The sweat and struggle were vital to the building of the magnificent, well-built, and gallant craft that was this craft.

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