Read story below, and answer:
In the end, do you think Rostam should be considered a hero? Explain your answer.
MLA Format 200-300 words
Sohrab Overcomes Rostam
When the shining sun spread its plumes and night?s dark raven folded its wings, Rostam donned his tigerskin and mounted Rakhsh. His iron helmet on his head, he hitched the sixty loops of his lariat to his saddle, grasped his Indian sword in his hand, and rode out to the combat ground.?
Sohrab had spent the night entertained by musicians and drinking wine with his companions. To Human he had confided his suspicions that his opponent was none other than Rostam, for he felt himself drawn to him, and besides, he resembled his mother?s description of Rostam. When dawn came, he buckled on his armor and grasped his huge mace; with his head filled with battle and his heart in high spirits, he came onto the field shouting his war cry. He greeted Rostam with a smile on his lips, for all the world as if they had spent the night in revelry together:?
?When did you wake? How did you pass the night?
And are you still determined we should fight??
But throw your mace and sword down, put aside?
These thoughts of war, this truculence and pride.?
Let?s sit and drink together, and the wine?
Will smooth away our frowns?both yours and mine.?
Come, swear an oath before our God that we?
Renounce all thoughts of war and enmity.?
Let?s make a truce, and feast as allies here?
At least until new enemies appear.?
The tears that stain my face are tokens of?
My heart?s affection for you, and my love;?
I know that you?re of noble ancestry??
Recite your lordly lineage to me.??
Rostam replied, ?This was not what we talked of last night; our talk was of hand-to-hand combat. I won?t fall for these tricks, so don?t try them. You might be still a child, but I am not, and I have bound my belt on ready for our combat. Now, let us fight, and the outcome will be as God wishes. I?ve seen much of good and evil in my life, and I?m not a man for talk or tricks or treachery.? Sohrab replied, ?Talk like this is not fitting from an old man. I would have wished that your days would come to an end peacefully, in your bed, and that your survivors would build a tomb to hold your body while your soul flew on its way. But if your life is to be in my hands, so be it; let us fight and the outcome will be as God wills.??
They dismounted, tethered their horses, and warily came forward, each clad in mail and helmeted. They closed in combat, wrestling hand to hand, and mingled blood and sweat poured from their bodies. Then Sohrab, like a maddened elephant, struck Rostam a violent blow and felled him; like a lion leaping to bring down a wild ass, he flung himself on Rostam?s chest, whose mouth and fist and face were grimed with dust. He drew a glittering dagger to sever the hero?s head from his body, and Rostam spoke:?
?O hero, lion destroyer, mighty lord,
Master of mace and lariat and sword,?
Our customs do not count this course as right;?
According to our laws, when warriors fight,?
A hero may not strike the fatal blow?
The first time his opponent is laid low;?
He does this, and he?s called a lion, when?
He?s thrown his rival twice?and only then.??
By this trick he sought to escape death at Sohrab?s hands. The brave youth bowed his head at the old man?s words, believing what he was told. He released his opponent and withdrew to the plains where, unconcernedly, he spent some time hunting. After a while Human sought him out and asked him about the day?s combat thus far. Sohrab told Human what had happened and what Rostam had said to him. Human responded, ?Young man, you?ve had enough of life, it seems! Alas for this chest, for these arms and shoulders of yours; alas for your fist, for the mace that it holds; you?d trapped the tiger and you let him go, which was the act of a simpleton! Now, watch for the consequences of this foolishness of yours when you face him again.??
Sohrab returned to camp, sick at heart and furious with himself. A prince once made a remark for just such a situation:?
?Do not make light of any enemy
No matter how unworthy he may be.??
For his part, when Rostam had escaped from Sohrab, he sprang up like a man who has come back from the dead and strode to a nearby stream where he drank and washed the grime from his face and body. Next he prayed, asking for God?s help and for victory, unaware of the fate the sun and moon held in store for him. Then, anxious and pale, he made his way from the stream back to the battlefield.?
And there he saw Sohrab mounted on his rearing horse, charging after wild asses like a maddened elephant, whirling his lariat, his bow on his arm. Rostam stared at him in astonishment, trying to calculate his chances against him in single combat. When Sohrab caught sight of him, all the arrogance of youth was in his voice as he taunted Rostam, ?So you escaped the lion?s claws, old man, and crept away from the wounds he dealt you!??
?I brought this on myself, this is from me,
And Fate has merely handed you the key?
To my brief life: not you but heaven?s vault??
Which raised me and then killed me?is at fault.?
Love for my father led me here to die.?
My mother gave me signs to know him by,?
And you could be a fish within the sea,?
Or pitch black, lost in night’s obscurity,?
Or be a star in heaven?s endless space,?
Or vanish from the earth and leave no trace,?
But still my father, when he knows I?m dead,?
Will bring down condign vengeance on your head.?
One from this noble band will take this sign?
To Rostam?s hands, and tell him it was mine,?
And say I sought him always, far and wide,?
And that, at last, in seeking him, I died.?
When Rostam heard the warrior?s words, his head whirled and the earth turned dark before his eyes, and when he came back to himself, he roared in an agony of anguish and asked what it was that the youth had which was a sign from Rostam, the most cursed of all heroes.
?If then you are Rostam,? said the youth, ?and you killed me, your wits were dimmed by an evil nature. I tried in every way to guide you, but no love of yours responded. Open the straps that bind my armor and look on my naked body. When the battle drums sounded before my door, my mother came to me, her eyes awash with tears, her soul in torment to see me leave. She bound a clasp on my arm and said, ?Take this in memory of your father, and watch for when it will be useful to you?; but now it shows its power too late, and the son is laid low before his father.? And when Rostam opened the boy?s armor and saw the clasp he tore at his own clothes in grief, saying, ?All men praised your bravery, and I have killed you with my own hands.? Violently he wept and tore his hair and heaped dust on his head. Sohrab said, ?By this you make things worse. You must not weep; what point is there in wounding yourself like this? What happened is what had to happen.?
The shining sun descended from the sky and still Rostam had not returned to his encampment. Twenty warriors came riding to see the battlefield and found two muddied horses but no sign of Rostam. Assuming he had been killed, they sent a message to Kavus saying, ?Rostam?s royal throne lies desolate.? A wail of mourning went up from the army, and Kavus gave orders that the drums and trumpets be sounded. Tus hurried forward and Kavus told him to have someone survey the battlefield and find out what it was that Sohrab had done and whether they were indeed to weep for the fortunes of Iran, since if Rostam had been killed, no one would be able to oppose Sohrab and they would have to retreat without giving battle.
As the noise of mourning rose from the army, Sohrab said to Rostam, ?Now that my days are ended, the Turks? fortunes too have changed. Be merciful to them, and do not let the king make war on them; it was at my instigation they attacked Iran. What promises I made, what hopes I held out to them! They should not be the ones to suffer; see you look kindly on them.?
April 7, 2016
Rostam the Hero
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