Iliad And Odyssey

1793 Words8 Pages
The views and beliefs of societies are often portrayed in the literature, art, and cinema of a certain era. The epic poems, The Iliad and Odyssey, give scholars and historians an idea how the Ancient Greek lived their everyday lives. By reading the two "novels," the reader is able to experience the three thousand years old society of Homer. The various similarities between our society and the societies depicted in the Iliad and the Odyssey are surprising profuse. To name a few: the superfluous violence in Iliad and Odyssey, the characterization of Odysseus, the obscure use of narcotics, the similarities between Catholicism and certain stories of the Odyssey, and the role of pets and animals. Despite the numerous similarities, there are some distinct differences. The specific differences between our society and that of Ancient Greece is the role of women in ancient Greece, polytheism, the and the importance of hospitality. Violence, it is a part of the Iliad and Odyssey; it is portrayed in nearly all our movies and literature. The numerous battles in the Iliad constantly described the grotesque deaths of warriors. "He brought him down with a glinting jagged rock, massive, top of the heap behind the rampart’s edge, no easy lift for a fghger even in prime strength, working with both hands, weak as men are now." Giant Ajax hoisted it high and hurled it down, crushing the rim of the soldiers four horned helmet and cracked his skull to splinters, a bloody pulp…" 435-443. Violence, the many scenes of war in the Iliad reminded me of the first battle scene of Saving Private Ryan. The extremely violent images of men crying out for their mothers, the intestines spilling out of a man’s belly, and the many pictures of bullet wounds. I believe that if Homer had lived in the 20th century, that the battle scenes of the Iliad would resemble those of the many gruesome films and books written in this century. A specific example of senseless violence was during the fall of Troy; Hektors young child was thrown off the high walls of Troy. It obvious that every society throughout time has appreciated virulent violence. Like the Iliad, the Odyssey had many violent and action scenes. Odysseus’s encounter with the Cyclopes, Polyphemus, entranced the reader with many cacophonous images. "Up fr... ... middle of paper ... ...and let you rest before they even knew your name. There are so many stories that display acts of excellent hospitality. Book IV and V display a case in which a "person" was too hospitable. Hospitality was so important to the Ancient Greeks because there were no hotels. People realized that someday they would be traveling and would need a place to stay. They would expect to receive the same hospitality that they had given. Today there are hotels, motels, and camping grounds. There is no reason why we should allow a stranger into our home. There are certain characteristics that are common within every society; including those found within literature and cinema. Our society is constantly changing. The United States society, least resembles the society of the Iliad and Odyssey. The reason for the is simple: technology. Our governments, laws, and values are advanced. Our beliefs in the supernatural are different to; this is due to advancements in science. We do not believe in Cyclopes, Nymphs, Witches, and other unreal creatures. The one thing that will always exist in every society is will to survive and the need to improve the quality of life.
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