Good Essay About Primary Source Analysis
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The Iliad (By Homer)
The great name of Homer is primarily connected with the birth of the author's poetry. Exactly Homer is the first European poet. For thirty centuries, Homer’s poems admired a lot of people. Readers are experiencing delight, poets and critics study the features of the great poet. However, the creative legacy of Homer is not so great. It's just two poems: the ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey,’ and a little of hymns. We can not say that the poem the ‘Iliad’ superiors ‘Odyssey,’ but ‘The Ilfiad’ is considered the number one poem in the world.
The poem ‘Iliad’ was created on the basis of heroic songs, legends, which were performed by the aoidos, roaming among the land of ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks attributed the creation of these poems to the blind aoidos Homer, who, according to the legend, was a native of the island of Chios, which nevertheless has long been considered as controversial. Seven cities were arguing about the birth of wise Homer: Smyrna, Chios, Colof, Pylos, Argos, Ithaca, Athens. The creation of the poem the ‘Iliad’ is attributed by the majority of researchers to the second half of VIII century BC.
At the heart of the ‘Iliad’ it lays the tale of a ten-year Trojan War, the reality of which is disputed by many scientists. One thing is clear that the battle for an important strategic point at the entrance to the Dardanelles could occur for several times during its centuries of existence. Heroic tales just summarized the memories of various campaigns against Troy or described a single episode. From the history of the Trojan War, the ‘Iliad’ describes fifty days, falling on its tenth year. The ‘Iliad’ consists of 15 700 lines and is written using the dactylic hexameter. Alexandrian philologists divided it into 24 songs by the number of letters of the Greek alphabet.
The ‘Iliad’ consists of a series of episodes consecutively unfolding in time and often having quite independent and finished character. The integrity of the poem is achieved by the subjecting of the material to two organizing points: 1) the wrath of Achilles makes it possible, while retaining of Achilles as the main hero, to put forward a number of other figures, acting in his absence; 2) the decision of Zeus motivates the failure of the Greek heroes and diversifies the vicissitudes of the struggle introduction of a new plan of actions: scenes of the gods on Mount Olympus.
The poetic technique of the ‘Iliad’ represents a combination of primitive helplessness with the developed and even intricate art of storytelling and a vast wealth of means of expression. It has not yet developed the technique of crowd scenes, and numerous descriptions of battles are divided into a number of single combats. However, it is widely used the method of retardation, as well as conducting the story in many plans, while each plan is divided into parts, and subsequently served in various planes of the nearly symmetric partitioning. The fast paced of the story varies with the slow ‘epic expanse,’ the narrative paced – with the skillfully composed speeches and dialogues. The language of ‘Iliad’ is richly colored with epithets, metaphors and ‘Homeric’ comparisons, many of which are traditional and date back to the Antiquity. The technique of ‘Iliad,’ as its plot and the language, is the result of a long development of the generations of epic singers (Homer, Murray and Wyatt). For all of the ancient Greeks ‘Iliad’ was not only a favorite reading, but the focus of wisdom and Pan-Hellenic culture. It was carried out on schooling. Teenagers and young men were inspired by the idea of valor on the examples of heroes of ancient legends.
Heroes of the poem are courageous and noble. They do not know the fear before the enemy. Both the Greeks and the Trojans are depicted with respect and love. This explains why the models of heroism are the Greek Achilles and the Trojan Hector. Homer pays great attention to the description of their characters, their armor, shields and shining helmets, adorned with manes flying in the wind. The central figure of the ‘Iliad’ is Achilles, a young Thessalian hero, the son of Peleus and the sea goddess Thetis. Achilles is the integral and noble nature, personified the military prowess in the understanding of ancient heroes that serves as the ideological basis of the whole poem. The debt for him is above everything. In the poem, we find a number of female characters. It is striking that the Homeric women are less limited by the conventions of life than their later successors. Before us are the Hector’s wife Andromache, his mother – Hecuba, Helen and Briseis.
The careful analysis of the ‘Iliad’ leads to the following conclusions. The poem is strictly aristocratic. The characters belong to the feudal nobility and live in accordance with the ideals of honor and bravery of the estate. Also, the severe mores of the early feudalism and colonization have been significantly mitigated, and the forms of communication have become more refined. Aristocratic society, which the ‘Iliad’ has been intended on, was different by the certain kind of rationalism: it retained the religious rites, but refused many primitive animistic notions. All naïve-wonderful was carefully avoided in the poem. The archaic crudeness of the scenes between the gods is used largely as a comic effect.
In order to describe the plot of the first book of the ‘Iliad’ it is necessary to recall a little pre-history. After the abduction of Helen, the wife of Spartan King Menelaus, the Trojan prince Paris, son of King Priam, the Greeks under the supreme command of Agamemnon, Menelaus' brother, for tenth year unsuccessfully besieged Troy. The main episode of the tenth year of the war, which is the subject of the image in the ‘Iliad,’ is the anger of Achilles towards Agamemnon. The fact is that Agamemnon captured Chryseis, the daughter of Chryses, priest of Apollo. Since Agamemnon, despite the requests of Chryses, refused to return him his daughter back, at the request of Chris Apollo sends the pestilence to the Greek army.
At the initiative of Achilles, the bravest of the Achaean heroes, it was convened the meeting of troops, where the broadcaster Kalhant explains the cause of the divine wrath. Agamemnon agrees to release the captive and returns Chryseis to her father. Achilles in anger at Agamemnon even leaves the battlefield and thereby causes a great damage to the Greek army. Achilles turns to his mother Thetis, a sea princess, with a request to pray to Zeus to give the preponderance of the Trojans and the Greeks and thus, to punish Agamemnon. Zeus promises Thetis to punish the military defeat of the Greeks. At the same time it is depicted the great scene on Mount Olympus, where the wife of Zeus Hera jealous him to Thetis, and Zeus using threats forces her to accept this. Hephaestus, the god of fire and blacksmithing, as well as the god of the arts, soothes all heroes, treating them by the usual food of the gods, Ambrose and nectar. This is the content of the first song of the ‘Iliad’ and is a complication of the whole poem.
The time in the ‘Iliad’ covers fifty-one days. The first book describes the events from the first to the twenty-first day, which are the complication of the heroic poem. The poem the ‘Iliad’ by Homer is an example of the heroic epic. It is like a beacon for the poets, sculptors and artists of the ancient and modern worlds. Homer was the first genius, who could very accurately convey the subtleties of the characters of his characters. Achilles will forever remain to be the hero of heroes, despite his complex and contradictory nature. The blind poet Homer is the starting point of all literature, and the advances in the study of his works can be considered as a symbol of progress throughout the whole philological science, and interest to the poems of Homer and their emotional perception should be considered as a reliable indication of the health of all human culture.
Considering the 'Iliad' from the historical point of view, it should be said that today it is obvious that the Trojan War is the war, the stories of which were spread in the Greek people before the creation of the Homeric epics. The author of the ‘Iliad’ introduces his audience with a cycle of tales and hopes that Achilles, Atreus, Odysseus, Ajax, Ajax the Lesser, Hector are already familiar to them. So, the story of the Trojan War had been described previously or readers should be the contemporaries or even witnessed of the fall of Troy. Undoubtedly, the most detailed preserved narration of the events of the Trojan War contains is a poem ‘Iliad.’ Mainly, Trojan heroes and events of the Trojan War owe their fame to this poem. It is an undeniable fact - we now know and honor the history of ancient Greece, thanks to Homer and his creations.
Many scientists and researchers even today doubt the historicism of Homeric Troy, or vice versa prove its veracity. For example, the start date of the Trojan War is still controversial, but most scholars attribute it to the XIII-XII centuries BC. It remains a controversial issue of the people living by the sea, described by Homer, whether they become the cause of the Trojan War, or, on the contrary, their movement was caused by the results of the Trojan War. There is no answer on this question to this day. There is no doubt that the perennial interest in the Trojan War is caused not just by the entertaining character of the Homer's works. In my view, historicism of the War at Troy and the ‘Iliad’ can not cause the slightest doubt. But this is only a personal opinion, which should be argued by the examining of the scientific evidence to support or refute the mythical character of the Trojan War.
Homer., and Samuel Butler. The Iliad. [Stilwell, Kan.]: Digireads.com Pub., 2009. Print.
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