It is usually believed that literary works should have definite conclusions that need to summarize the main idea of the reading and make sense of the events. While analyzing different works of literature, readers can notice that some endings may be incomplete, controversial, or challenging but at the same time, they provide individuals with food for thought. “The Persian Expedition,” “Erec and Enide,” and “Herakles” are three ancient works that differ in their contexts and meanings. All of the following readings are adequately structured and aim at delivering specific information to the reader. Therefore, the conclusions of these three examples of literature are also contrasting and include essential details. The following paper will discuss their endings and outline the distinguishing features so that the reader could compare them easily.
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The fourth book of “The Persian Expedition” concludes some of the events that happened and encourages people to continue reading this piece of art. The reading, divided into seven books, tells a story about Xenophon’s experience of working in the army of Cyrus, who planned to seize the throne of his brother by starting a huge battle (Xenophon). Throughout this work of literature, readers learn about different obstacles the army had to face to get back home safely after the death of Cyrus. The fourth book is not the last one; thus, its conclusion does not create a sense of closure. The story is not finished yet; however, the resolution creates a feeling that a stage of their travels is completed – the army reaches one of the cities and takes a long rest.
The conclusion of “Erec and Enide” is complete and brings an end to all the issues that the couple met during the poem. The romance is established around the themes of chivalry and love, highlighting the idea that two people have to trust each other to go through difficult circumstances. While the knight has to be courageous and full of love for his woman, the wife should continually inspire him and be confident in his power. “Eric and Enide” ends with a massive celebration of ascending the throne by the main character (De Troyers 93). Hence, the conclusion successfully finishes the conflict between the husband and wife and delivers the idea that love is a strong weapon.
Talking about “Herakles,” it can be noted that the resolution of the tragedy does not give a sense of full closure since readers remain interested in what will happen next. Being ashamed of the actions he took, Herakles desires to commit suicide. However, his faithful friend Theseus tries to convince that it is meaningless to do so; he says that nobody on earth and in the sky is without sin, and everyone has a chance to live (Euripides 125). Herakles seems to be persuaded by this idea; nevertheless, it is still a secret for the readers what are the future decisions of the character. The ending of the tragedy is a surprise since it was expected that Herakles would kill himself, but the appearance of Theseus twisted the plot significantly.
Overall, different works of literature provide readers with various plots and conclusions. While some of them may be understandable and complete, others challenge and encourage the reader to think about the possible outcomes of the events. The same contrast can be seen between the three works mentioned in the essay. For instance, while the conclusion of “Erec and Enide” is thorough, the fourth book of “The Persian Expedition” and “Herakles” end in an intriguing way. Therefore, by exploring the ending of these three works, this paper helped to see their main differences.
De Troyers, Chretien. Erec and Enide. Translated by William Comfort, Old French Series, 1999.
Euripides. Herakles. Translated by Thomas Sleigh, Oxford University Press, 2001.
Xenophon. The Persian Expedition. Translated by Rex Warner, Penguin UK, 1975.