From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 28 Nov 2003

Jesse wrote: As for Homer and the Iliad, its a mistake to judge it based on modern storytelling techniques, I think it works extremely well on its own. Its one of my favorite stories.

************ I guess that forming an opinion of it before I'm through is premature, but something I can't help doing. I've been reading mythology and myth-related literature for about 6 months now, and I'm making an effort to appreciate it all within context. I even did some background work on the mythology of the Trojan War which is left out of Homer's ILIAD. But consider the parts of THE ILIAD that I've read. The book starts with Agememnon and Achilles having a whine-fest about returning women that they've gotten as spoils of war. Then a big showdown is set between Menelaus and Paris over another stolen babe, Helen. This is purported to be the big wrestling match that will settle the Trojan War, and it ends inconclusively when Paris is spirited away by a goddess, and nothing more comes of it.

From what little history I've read I know that Homer's ILIAD was a cornerstone of Greek education. I guess I expected a noble story of brave deeds and maybe a few stuffy platitudes about honor. But bravery and skill doesn't seem to weigh very heavy. A god tells a character to kick some butt and he goes for it. The motivations of Achilles and Paris and Hector and Agememnon seem petty and sniveling, and they appear to be mostly just pawns to the gods. I understand the Greek emphasis placed on the god's influence but I thought THE ILIAD was more about human heroes.

I'll read more.


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