The Eagle of the Ninth Literary Qualities

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Sutcliff portrays Marcus's experiences against a backdrop of the historical events of the Roman occupation of the British Isles. Details concerning everyday life in Roman Britain lend an authenticity to the narrative that is heightened by Sutcliffs insertion of Latin terms whose meanings are evident from the context. The descriptions of clothing, food, houses, military and religious customs, and medical practices provide fascinating insights into the world Marcus inhabits. The author accurately describes the secondcentury characters' religious beliefs as well. For example, when Marcus and Esca enter the shrine of the Painted People, the tangible pressure of the gods of darkness almost overcomes them until Marcus calls on his own god, Mithras, in the Name of Light.

Symbols reinforce the narrative's themes. When Marcus begins the journey to find the lost eagle, he makes an offering to Mithras of a little olive-wood bird. The sacrifice of this memento...

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This section contains 344 words
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