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Canonical Literature: The Iliad Essay

675 words - 3 pages

The Iliad, by Homer, is a perfect example of why discussion and absorption of canonical literature is vital for people to interpret and comprehend. In ancient times, people learned of the past and of morals/consequences through word of mouth and stories which influenced their daily lives and how they conducted themselves, and today's times are no exception. Through reading books such as the Iliad, generation after generation can read the same story and gain crucial insight to the past, present, and future.
Through reading, the reader learns of a legacy set by the people of the past and their decisions. Through this legacy the reader gains a history lesson in theology, traditions, and even in dress and day-to-day life. In the Iliad, the reader learns of rituals and sacrifices to the ancient gods, as well as the interplay between the mortals and immortals. The history of the Battle of Troy and the war that ensued also shows the actions and traditions of the time. Through one-on-one combat examples as well as war strategy, Homer depicted a bloody battle filled with bigger than life egos as well as the detriment that war brought to families, cities, and individuals. This depiction is both timeless and universal, however the strategies used and how the war was fought is not. It is through these types of both separation and unity of a subject that the reader becomes engrossed in the history behind the book as well as the individual characterization and the outcomes of that characters' actions.
Canonical Literature also opens readers' eyes to different thinking and beliefs. Through reading different books with different viewpoints, political thoughts, and even theological beliefs, literature guarantees its attentive audience the knowledge of life lessons. Possibly one of the biggest being that of free will/thought. As David Denby says, "Don't get sucked in" (Denby 2). Reading literature allows the reader to make their own opinions and see all sides to different political...

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