The world set up by Homer is not easy; the war certainly has no purpose, certainly not for the greater good, but merely part of the blind workings of an unfathomable fate. When warriors die, there does not exist Valkyries singing them to their rest, merely the bleak prospect of an ashen, ghostly, absence of meaning. The Iliad, therefore, presents a collective cavalcade of loss, the endless parade of men, equal in all forms, summoned briefly to the wonders of life only to be consigned to death by the horrors of fate. “Nothing precious is scorned, whether or not death is its destiny; everyone’s happiness is laid bare without dissimulation or disdain; no man is set above or below the condition common to all men; whatever is destroyed is regretted” (Weil).
(introduction sentence) The paradoxical tension at the heart of Homer’s ill-fated vision of war becomes apparent within the first clash of rival armies in Book IV. The preparations for combat by both sides draw attention towards the passionate individuality of the warriors, who by the very nature of the heroic complex, are defined by their participation, or rather success, in battle. As Agamemnon visits the front lines, he calls forth a series of great Achaean heroes: Idomeneus, Nestor, Odysseus, Diomedes, Stehnelus, and Ajax, each of whom is portrayed as the brave, proud, loyal archetypical Homeric hero caught up within this test of excellence. En masse, the Achaean army is seen gathering under the irresistible and alluring
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Homer’s the Iliad is a tale of war and aggression (Puchner 183). Written in the 8th century, it remains relevant to society today. The basis of the Iliad, warfare, brings with it portrayals of death, grief, and the real problem with humankind: we are not peaceful beings. In a war-ridden world, these topics remain pertinent to society. These terrors of war showcased in the Iliad generate an anti-war message. With this said, Homer creates a timeless lesson against war with his work.
War is naturally violent, and the Iliad does not hesitate to describe the atrocities committed by men with spears and swords. They kill each other, descriptively, and although individual heroes may get glory or special recognition for prowess in battle, the detailed depictions of death do not glorify the actual acts of warfare. Even the gods and heroes are critical of taking too much pleasure in waging war, though the epic celebrates the men who are good at it. Several of the heroes, like Diomedes and Achilles, single-handedly hold off the enemy and in doing so, seem to rise above the limits of normal men. They even escape the ignobleness of death and are called “beautiful” after dying. In all, the Iliad acknowledges the realities of war and does not glorify its violent nature, but it does appoint extraordinary honors to the heroes who fight in the war.
Throughout Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, many techniques are used to compare characters and emphasize the importance of leadership and honorability. The main character of the poem, Achilles, is a beloved warrior of the Greek army who struggles to contain his anger, especially against Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek Army. The Trojan War takes a toll on the people of the two cities, leading to numerous poor decisions made among the soldiers. Homer’s use of parallelism in The Iliad draws attention to Achilles as a character, more specifically to his fall from grace and ultimate redemption.
Homer is one of the greatest storytellers of the world, whose two stories, the Iliad and the Odyssey are the bedrock of western literature. Within his stories, he presents the values of the Greeks through its characters, their actions, and the situations present in throughout the two epics. Odysseus in both stories was a soldier, a king, a father, an adventurer, etc. Homer’s Odysseus as an individual encompasses some of the common aspects found in the Greek identity. Although Greeks would not unify under one political power until Phillip and Alexander, all Greeks shared a common culture, with heroes that represent their values and ideals. Homer through his epics presents a bible for pagans and shows this through Odysseus presents the value
The Iliad, by Homer, is an epic poem set in the era of the Trojan War, accounting the battle logs during the time of conflict between Agamemnon and Achilles, the text’s tragic protagonist. The heroic outlook on life, in Iliadic terms, is exemplified through the construction of one’s honor through hard work. Being an aspect of the heroic outlook of life, this value is demonstrated through his contribution and dedication to the Trojan War, his experience with neglect from the deities, Achilles’ overall disdain towards Agamemnon, and, lastly, his longingness towards Briseis, his dear lover.
The heroic code in the Iliad is expressed by many characters throughout the book, whether it be through their actions, intentions, or teachings. The heroic code stems from the belief that honor is, above all, the most important virtue in life and all men must honor themselves, their families, and their fellow comrades through specific character traits and actions. This concept is the primary goal in a Homeric hero’s life. Specifically, courage in battle, even in the face of clear danger or death is an essential source of a man’s honor. Death, in the context of the heroic code, can be seen as a relief of the constant struggle these characters are up against in
“Many ways Homer's portrayal was insightful and way ahead of his time in terms of how he explores the themes of war and heroism. At the beginning of the play, Odysseus appears to fit the traditional image of a war hero -- brave and strong. We also see him full of his own importance -- announcing himself as 'Odysseus, the slayer of cities. But, as the play progresses and he begins his long journey home, Odysseus is confronted with the lasting impact of the war both on himself and those at home. There many layers to his character and how the war and the themes of the play affect him. We gradually see Odysseus become completely broken by his experiences”(Sawyerr).
During their reading of the Iliad and the Aeneid, scores of readers only see the two great poets commenting on the nature of war and destruction. What countless do not see, however, are there passionate outcries on behalf of the tragic heroes and humanity itself. The author of the Iliad, Homer, has been theorized by some to be a collection of writers working in collaboration. Nevertheless, this author had an immeasurable effect on ancient Greek culture. The Aeneid was written by Virgil, who was born in 70 BCE and had two other works in addition to his epic masterpiece. Through their use of tragic heroes in The Iliad and The Aeneid, Virgil and Homer comment on humanity’s flaws, the oftentimes seemingly hopeless future and the courage
Throughout The Iliad, Homer revolves around this idea of duty, honor and bravery. When men died fighting battles, they were glorified and regarded as “real warriors.” Furthermore, we can see that everyone faces death but it is up to the men whether they want to die and be remembered as a real warrior or just a common man. This belief of brave and honor can be seen in several characters in the story. However,
Fiction helps introduce the lies and truths of other people’s minds, to help others learn about their own country, foreign places, and others eras. In addition, it often uses symbolism and imagery to allow people to know they are not alone in all the problems that human beings deal with, such as, with life and death, war and peace, or with love and rage. Knowing this helps a reader understand how Homer’s Iliad complicates the reality that comes with war, yet he successfully proves men cannot escape war because it is intoxicating and glorious. Homer creates the sense that war is an inevitable truth of mankind through his use of recurring imagery, by making his characters share the same tragic flaws, and by using other mythological stories to create parallels that correspond to this truth.
Homer uses the actions of both characters to highlight their differences, while still illustrating how their upbringing in a war culture distorts their convictions by painting a limited path for them to follow for fame. Seeing that really only a few in reality win in wars, The Iliad asks whether non-stop war is really a solution to humanity’s
In the odyssey, the poem’s ultimate position on death vs. life and glory vs. homecoming plays a big role in the leading character’s storyline. Odysseus, throughout the book is challenged with many obstacles that he must go through to get home. These obstacles in each island resemble his driven passion to get home to his kingdom. Achilles, the same leading character from the Iliad, is also presented in this poem to show the Greek view on glory. Ultimately, the book shows that glory is the engine that drives these Greek heroes, but fails to give these heroes happiness from which derived from homecoming.
Homer and Ovid are two of the oldest, most influential poets that have ever lived. Although they are both poets, they have several differences in their writings. Homer, a Greek poet, is most famous for his epic poems Iliad and Odyssey. Ovid, a Roman poet, is most famous for Metamorphoses a 15 book poem containing over 250 myths. To compare and contrast these two poets and their writing styles, I will use Achilles’ battle with Hector in Homer’s Iliad book 22 and compare it with Achilles’ battle with Cycnus in Ovid’s Metamorphoses book 12. The comparison of these battles will give us a better understanding of these poets different views on the Trojan War.
Simone Weil argues that the way Homer presents war and the use of force in the Iliad, in all of its brutality, violence, and bitterness bathes the work in the light of love and justice (pg 25). The point Weil is making is that by depicting the suffering of all of these men regardless of their side, or strength Homer equalizes them in a “condition common to all men”(pg 25). Because Homer equalizes them the reader can feel empathy, or at least compassion for all of the men. However while Weil is correct about how Homer’s descriptions of war and force reveal justice and love, she is wrong in thinking that justice and love are mere “accents” to the Iliad, and progress through the story “without ever becoming noticeable”(pg 25). Homer not
Fagles’ translation of Diomedes’ first speech in Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad, starts with great splendor. “Atrides—” he says, “I will be first to oppose you in your folly” (Fagles 9.36). With that single line, Diomedes captivates the crowd and makes both his unwavering pride and sensible intellect apparent. He firmly yet humbly stops Agamemnon’s call for retreat in response to Hector and the Trojans forcing the Achaeans back to their ships while the rest of the army is shocked into silence. Though it seems near impossible for the Argives to triumph against the Trojans, Diomedes still offers himself up to be the first to express his thoughts. It is a daunting task to do after Agamemnon’s alarming proposal,