The Statue of Liberty and The Colossus of Rhodes and Their Significance

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1571 words

Downloads: 38

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Human civilization has always been accompanied by disputes and wars, in the tremendous transformation of thousand years. From ancient Babylon and Egypt to the modern society, there have been thousands of wars. Mankind has made countless sacrifices, in order to expand and defend their homeland. To commemorate the victory of the war, many sculptures and buildings have been built, in order to remind future generations and to promote freedom and peace. Among these sculptures, the Colossus of Rhodes in ancient Greece and the Statue of Liberty in the United States are the most representative. The significance of these two sculptures lies in the following. First is to declare the sovereignty of its own territory. Second is that they both implicitly show their vision and hope for the future of the country and nation. Third, they both reflected the yearning for peace.

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The full name of the Statue of Liberty is Liberty Enlightening the World, which was a gift to the United States from France, in 1876, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the victory of the War of Independence. The torch on the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of enlightenment. The torch lights the way to freedom, by showing us the path to Liberty. Even, the Statue's official name represents her most important symbol 'Liberty Enlightening the World' (national park service). She symbolizes the freedom and security of the United States. Before that, the United States was a British colony. In order to meet its own needs, the United Kingdom had carried out extensive exploitation, excessive taxes and tyranny over its colonies, which subsequently caused a lot of dissatisfaction from the Americans. After many violent incidents, the war finally broke out and at last the United States overthrew British rule, from the United States. The shackles of the Statue of Liberty represent this. From then on, the Americans freed themselves from the tyranny and shackles of the British Empire and seized territorial sovereignty. The book of the Declaration of Independence on the Statue of Liberty also showed the confidence of Americans, in protecting their sovereignty. On the other hand, the Colossus of Rhodes also has a story. The statue on Rhode Island is actually their sun god Helios, in the story he is the God that will protect this island forever. Helios was charge in the taking care of the sun. The land of Rhode Island, was given to Helios by Zesus the king of lords. After Zeus took the throne from his father Cronus, every god he ruled would get a land on the land of Greece. However, on that day of ceremony, Helios was on his routine assignment of taking of the sun so he missed that and did not get a land. After this, He was unhappy then came to Zeus and complained about this. Zeus soon used magic to lift up a big stone on the Aegean Sea where the weather is warm, moist and comfortable; animals and plants are flourished on that island. Helios was happy and brought his family on that island to live. So the residences on that island were the descendant of Helios. So he was the worshipped God of Rhode Island.

He drove the golden chariot brought the sun to the sky. Therefore, he could really accomplish to have a clean view of the earth and the sky, because travels between them see God from the top and see people from the bottom. Many times people regard him as a witness to everything, so his strength and responsibility are tremendous. As in Orphic Hymn 8 to Helius, “Hear, golden Titan, whose eternal eye with matchless sight illumines all the sky. Native, unwearied in diffusing light, and to all eyes the object of delight”, his eyes can see everything so his ability is powerful. So back to Emma’s poem: Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame; With conquering limbs astride from land to land. She used limbs as a metaphor to express the great ability of Helios. The Colossus of Rhodes, 34 m as tall as 11 stairs, is like a “skyscraper” to look through the views of the whole surrounding of island just like Helios’s power. The people of Rhode Island successfully guarded their country, from siege of the Macedonian. Then, they built the sculpture with the money, they got from selling enemy weapons, in order to commemorate the sun god Helios and the war, in which they successfully guarded their land. The location of the two sculptures is also very significant, as the Statue of Liberty is located just south of New York Harbor. The ships are coming and going will definitely pass through it. This is more or so for the Colossus of Rhodes, its feet are built on both sides of the strait, outside the port, and vessels are entering and leaving the port will pass underneath his body. Both statues are built in very prominent places, which fully demonstrate the people's determination, in order to defend their national territorial sovereignty.

In the long river of human history, wars were inevitable disasters. Although they could promote the development of human civilization more or less, but, they were always resisted and hated in the hearts of people. Every battlefield was accompanied by the death, in which countless soldiers were died, countless civilians destroyed by gunfire and many families were broken up. Every war had accompanied by huge economic losses. Many cities were ruined, countless properties devastated, precious land burned down and many rare treasures were broken down. After the wars, the country usually would establish a statue or monument to commemorate the soldiers, who lost their lives in the war, to warn future generations about the cruelty of war and the importance of peace and freedom. After the American War of Independence, the arrival of the Statue of Liberty was not only built to commemorate the victory, but also to commemorate the heroes, who died for the country. And the goddess of Liberty holds the torch and looks at the vast Atlantic Ocean southward. Why does she not turn towards the land of the United States but face towards the sea? Actually, the purpose is to give a warm welcome to all who come to the United States, especially, the large number of immigrants from Europe, who enter New York harbor by boats, and what they see at first sight is the Statue of Liberty. The famous American Jewish poet Emma Lazarus wrote a poem on the Statue of Liberty. This poem was engraved, under its pedestal. Her poem ensured that the Statue of Liberty would instead be viewed as a beacon of welcome for immigrants leaving their European mother countries, for the new 'Mother of Exiles.

These two sculptures represents as the symbols of hope and future for the people. Every leader and people of a country are eager for a better future, for their motherland. They hope economy will prosper, the people will be happy, the country will remain peaceful, unified, and technologically advanced. However, in many cases, people built some statues or buildings, in order to express this good will. Imagining that, if the whole Manhattan is a giant sailboat, the Statue of Liberty is like a compass standing at the front of the deck, directing its way. The flame on the flare, as the 'A single spark can start a prairie fire (Mao Zedong) said, a small group of flame can make an entire grassland blaze. Little hope can bring a huge victory. The United States is a 'big ship' is sailing in the sea of history — it will inevitably suffer from the winds and rains. In this vast sea full of darkness and storm, the raging flame of the torch held by the goddess of liberty is people's description of hope. As long as the flame does not go out, hope will not end; Rainbow will come after the storm. The Americans pin their hopes for the country on this Statue of Liberty; Helios, the patron saint of Rhode Island, stands in front of the port, like, a lighthouse. The flames in his hands are also giving the Rhodes people hope for the future.

The statue of liberty stands above the sea, as solemn, kind, graceful, and holy, but the Colossus of Rhodes is different. He looks more strong and defiant. It looks like he forced all the ships that come and go pass through his feet.

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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This poem compares the statue of liberty with the giant of Rhode Island. The statue of liberty has a gentle look, while the giants of Rhode Island give arrogant attitude. “Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command” shows the statue of liberty’s friendly attitude towards the people of the world, which is very different from the giant of Rhode Island. Both huge stones have similar memorial significance and background of the war, but they face the world with different attitudes.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

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The Statue Of Liberty And The Colossus Of Rhodes And Their Significance. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 21, 2023, from
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