The stories told in the Iliad and Odyssey are based on stories handed down over several generations, for they preserve (as we have seen) memories of an already quiet far distant past. The two pomes show clear connection in their language and style, in the manner in which their incidents presented, and in the combination of agreement with level, which distinguish their creation.
The work was written by one author but gave two diverse views on the nature of the Olympian Gods, their relationship to humankind, and the general lot of mortals throughout their all too brief lives. For the reason that of these differences, both novels end up sending, different messages about life in general. In the Iliad, the supernatural denizens of Olympus are representing as false, power-hungry, and above all unreliable beings that are always at each other's throats. Factionalism abounds, and neither the bonds of marriage, nor the ties of relationship can contain keep it under control. A great example is when Ares betrays his mother, Hera, and his sister, Athene, by aiding the Trojans instead of the Greeks. When he is revealed, Athena strikes him down in battle through Diomedes. In the Odyssey, however, the Gods of Olympus display far more unity and civility toward each other. They argue and disagree, but their disagreements are never carried out to the extremes found in the Iliad. When Poseidon punishes Odysseys for blinding the Cyclopes, Athena does not take revenge. Even though Odyssey's is her favorite human, she respects Poseidon's right to punish him. In addition, the betrayal among the Gods that is so prevalent in the Iliad, is nowhere to be found in the Odyssey.
In Iliad, Hera, enters int...
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... be so short. If you are clever enough, strong enough, and careful
enough, you can overcome just about anything the Gods or other men throw at you.
Bloom, Harold, Homer’s Odyssey: Edited and with an Introduction
(NY, Chelsea House 1988)
Fitzgerald, Robert, tr., The Iliad of Homer, USA: Penguin Books, 1991.
Griffin, Jasper, Homer on Life and Death, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1980.
A clear and easy to read exploration of the poem and its worldview.
Griffin, Jasper, Homer: The Odyssey Cambridge UP 1987.
Heubeck, Alfred, J.B. Hainsworth, et al. A Commentary on Homer's Odyssey.
3 Vols. (Oxford 1988) PA4167.H4813).
Lattimore, Richmond, tr., The Iliad of Homer, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1951.
Thalmann, William G., The Odyssey: an epic of return. (NY, Twayne
Publishers 1992) PA4167.T45.
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