Homer “The Iliad”
I couldn’t believe my luck when I found the translations of Homer’s “The Iliad”and “The Odyssey” at a bargain price at our church bazaar. The saleslady was very disappointed that she didn’t laid hands on it first. Score!
If you’ve ever seen the movie Troy, it was based on the book “The Iliad”. You know that classic line of the movie: “Helen of Troy, the face who launched a 1000 ships”? Well, it starts where Helen’s husband, Menelaus, and the Achaeans reach Troy and prepare themselves for a fight. Helen ran away with one of King Priam’s sons, Paris. These two are the real reason “The Iliad” is called a tragedy, because if someone just took some responsibility and reprimanded Paris, none of the destruction and death would have happened. Then again, there wouldn’t be much of a story.
We also meet Achilles, the famed fighter who the Trojans all fear. In “The Iliad” Achilles is in disagreement with the Achaeans’ King, Agamemnon. Achilles refuses to help the Achaeans and a lot of bloodshed follows.
Odysseus, the main character of “The Odyssey”, also features.
Two things that really annoyed me:
Most of “The Iliad” involves the fighting which can become very tedious. See, with everyone being killed, Homer has to tell us their name and history. It’s never ending. If that isn’t bad enough each side has this long speech before they start fighting each other. It makes the story somewhat unbelievable: how can you in all that chaos and noise not die of a stray spear?
Secondly, why does Paris feel no remorse when his brother is killed because of his actions? It’s like his character disappeared, we don’t hear or see his reaction to the tragic news.
First published: This book was published in 1950 but Homer wrote the two epic poems during the 8th or 7th century BC.
- According to Homer, the Lesbians are from the country Lesbos.
- What is an Iliad? The city of Troy was also known as Ilios or Ilium thus “Iliad” is the epic poem or song of Ilium.