Sohrab and Rustum: An Episode is a narrative poem with strong tragic themes by Matthew Arnold. The poem retells a famous episode from Ferdowsi’s Persian epic Shahnameh relating how the great warrior Rustum unknowingly slew his long-lost son Sohrab in single combat. Arnold, who was unable to read the original, relied on summaries of the story in John Malcolm’s History of Persia and Sainte Beuve’s review of a French prose translation of Ferdowsi. In Sohrab and Rustum, Arnold attempted to imitate the “grandeur and rapidity” of Homer’s style which he was to discuss in his lectures On Translating Homer (1861). The poem consists of 892 lines of blank verse.





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