Various Perspectives On War In Homer's Iliad

2043 words - 8 pages

Various Perspectives on War in Homer's Iliad

      The Iliad is a story of rages of Achilles and the War of Troy. Thanks to the techniques of the author, Homer, The Iliad is very colorful, romantic, and it makes the readers imagine the ancient Greeks and their times of war. Homer is believed to be the author of epics other than the Iliad, although their authorship remains uncertain. Historian believes that Homer probably lived in the eighth century, B.C.1 (Discovering World History). However, there are very few things that we know about him. Some historians think Homer's birthplace may have been on an island on the eastern edge of the Aegean Sea, or perhaps in a city on the nearby coast, but they don't have evidence to support their theory (Michalopoulos).

In The Iliad, Homer interprets the war, the science of nature, the gods, heroes and fate. For all topics, he expresses the words so powerfully and emotionally that it makes it easier to imagine the whole the great story of The Iliad. In the time when Homer lived, the war was something that existed in people's everyday life; he must been an eyewitness of the war, and that experience made him able to tell the story so realistically, especially the description of the soldiers who were killing each other in the war.

Even though Homer may be seen as an antiwar storyteller based on his vivid description of violence and injury. He, on the other hand describes the both braveness and cowardliness of two heroes of The Iliad, Achilles and Hector; Homer shows this seems to be a pro-war position, as he idealizes the traces of bravely and heroism. The emotion of all the characters in the story, as well as the characters' suffering, pain, joy, and fury makes the characters manly. While interpreting the characters' emotions, he describes the bravery with which Achilles fights against the Trojans, and by showing King Agamemnon's cowardliness, Homer makes Achilles seem brighter and of stronger character.

From the standpoint of the study of Homer as a poet, the War of Troy was a war actually fought nearly four centuries before Homer's time, and the causes of that war were almost certainly political and economic (Moss and Wilson). Homer thus, adopted the historical fact of the war and the tradition of an exciting legend. In The Iliad Homer uses the War of Troy as an example of the tragic futility of all wars, rather than assuming either an antiwar or a pro-war position.



In ancient times, people thought that the great War of Troy was just a myth of Homer's. Then in the mid 19th century, a German businessman, Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890), discovered Troy. Heinrich had always loved Homer's poem. Since his childhood he had believed that the story of Homer was truth and not a myth. He absorbed the beauty of the epics, but his practical mind also caused him to analyze the facts behind the poetic fiction. He became convinced that the Greeks...

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