Is Rosh a villain or a hero in The Bronze Bow?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The character of Rosh is a fascinating example of somebody that changes in Daniel's estimation as the novel progresses. At the beginning, Rosh represents to Daniel a leader who is almost god-like in the way that he reveres him and follows him. Daniel believes that Rosh is absolutely committed to the cause of seeing the Romans leave their country, and Daniel is willing to do anything, even risk his life, in order to make that a reality. However, gradually, as the book continues, Daniel's opinion of Rosh changes. A very significant moment in the book which leads to a change in Daniel's opinion is when Rosh steals from their own people rather than the Romans. Of course, the final realisation comes in Chapter 18, when Daniel rushes to Rosh to tell him the news about Joel. When Rosh refuses to do anything to help Joel, Daniel is able to see Rosh clearly for the first time:

The red mist of anger cleared suddenly from Daniel's mind. He looked at the man who had been his leader. He saw the coarsened face with its tangle of dirty beard. He saw the hard mouth, the calculating little eyes. He saw a man he had never really looked at before.

Daniel comes to understand that Rosh is not the freedom hero he thought he was, and that he is nothing more than a petty villain who does not understand the "cause" against the Romans that Daniel is so committed too. In this description, the description of the "hard mouth" and the "calculating little eyes" is a very negative description with obvious connotations of hardness of heart and villainy, supporting Daniel's judgement.

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michellesomers | eNotes Newbie

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The character of Rosh is a fascinating example of somebody that changes in Daniel's estimation as the novel progresses. At the beginning, Rosh represents to Daniel a leader who is almost god-like in the way that he reveres him and follows him. Daniel believes that Rosh is absolutely committed to the cause of seeing the Romans leave their country, and Daniel is willing to do anything, even risk his life, in order to make that a reality. However, gradually, as the book continues, Daniel's opinion of Rosh changes. A very significant moment in the book which leads to a change in Daniel's opinion is when Rosh steals from their own people rather than the Romans. Of course, the final realisation comes in Chapter 18, when Daniel rushes to Rosh to tell him the news about Joel. When Rosh refuses to do anything to help Joel, Daniel is able to see Rosh clearly for the first time:

The red mist of anger cleared suddenly from Daniel's mind. He looked at the man who had been his leader. He saw the coarsened face with its tangle of dirty beard. He saw the hard mouth, the calculating little eyes. He saw a man he had never really looked at before.

Daniel comes to understand that Rosh is not the freedom hero he thought he was, and that he is nothing more than a petty villain who does not understand the "cause" against the Romans that Daniel is so committed too. In this description, the description of the "hard mouth" and the "calculating little eyes" is a very negative description with obvious connotations of hardness of heart and villainy, supporting Daniel's judgement.

So thoughtful and articulate.  Well done!

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