Homer's Impact On Western Culture In The Iliad And The Odyssey

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Although very little is known about the life of Greek poet Homer, credited with being the first to write down the epic stories of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the impact of his tales continue to reverberate through Western culture. IN THESE GROUPS FAMOUS PEOPLE BORN IN 800 FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO DIED IN 701 FAMOUS PEOPLE IN FICTION & POETRY FAMOUS GREEKS Show All Groups 1 of 3 « » QUOTES “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” —Homer Synopsis The Greek poet Homer was born sometime between the 12th and 8th centuries BC, possibly somewhere on the coast of Asia Minor. He is famous for the epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey, which have had an enormous effect on Western culture, but very little is known about their alleged author. The Mystery of Homer Homer is a mystery. The Greek…show more content…
Further controversy about authorship springs from the differing styles of the two long narrative poems, indicating they were composed a century apart, while other historians claim only decades –the more formal structure of The Iliad is attributed to a poet at the height of his powers, whereas the more colloquial, novelistic approach in The Odyssey is attributed to an elderly Homer. Homer enriched his descriptive story with liberal use of simile and metaphor, which has inspired a long path of writers behind him. His structuring device was to start in the middle–in medias res– and then fill in the missing information via remembrances. The two narrative poems pop up throughout modern literature: Homer’s The Odyssey has parallels in James Joyce’s Ulysses, and his tale of Achilles in The Iliad is echoed in J.R.R. Tolkein's The Fall of Gondolin. Even the Coen Brothers’ film O Brother, Where Art Thou? makes use of The Odyssey. Other works have been attributed to Homer over the centuries, most notably the Homeric Hymns, but in the end only the two epic works remain enduringly his.

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