Fate In Homer And Alessandro Baricco's An Iliad And The Odyssey

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Fate is a contradictory force in many societies both today and in early Greek culture. Some people believe that our life is predetermined, whereas others fall into the belief that decisions guide ones path. Fate is defined as a power thought to control all events and impossible to resist. Through the tales of Homer, we are revealed the role fate played in the everyday life of Greek heroes. Through closely analyzing the alterations of Homeric tales, Alessandro Baricco’s An Iliad and Gareth Hinds’ The Odyssey, we are revealed how fate replaces the role of the gods by driving characters towards death, glory and heroism.

Meeting fate through death is seen as the highest form of glory in An Iliad and The Odyssey. In both epic tales the events that occur while a persons soul leaves their body is presented in a metaphorical manner. The use of metaphors contributes to the idea that the death of a person is sacred, and looked at considerably differently than the events that occur in their lives. In Baricco’s An Iliad, death is described in a series of metaphors. This is evident in the death of Patroclus where Baricco writes, “Then the veil of death enveloped him. His soul flew away and went to Hades, mourning lost strength, lost youth” (132). This quote uses metaphors and personification to glorify Patroclus’ death and reveal how death is view in ancient Greece. In comparison to The Odyssey, death is also depicted in a metaphorical sense, using graphics and more subtle phrases

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