The Iliad by Homer

The Iliad, a daunting work of fiction so genius that it has survived for thousands of years. To this day there is no modern epic which stands anywhere near it except perhaps Les Misérables or Paradise Lost. Perhaps those who are informed could add The Divine Comedy to this list, however I have not read Dante’s work as of yet.

We’ve had the story built into our Western Literature in various forms. There have been countless versions of the mythology surrounding the battle that destroyed Troy. But what is the real Iliad story about? The Iliad as it stands is an epic poem, among the first fantasy stories, which describes a brief moment in the Trojan War which decided the fate of that period. During this time Achilles, the greatest demigod warrior of them all, and Hector, a mortal man greater than any other, fight in a series of battles. (view spoiler) But the Iliad is more than just lots of warfare strung together, albeit beautifully and poetically. It is a story about the fall of men, a story about the interference of the gods. It is a colossal tragedy, a mythology based in history and one which tells us much about the duel heroic and villainous nature of human hearts.

Read The Iliad for its tragedy, its beauty, its elegance. Read it to be a pretentious academic who understands literary references to it. Read it because you love mythology. Read it because you care about humanity. Read it because you love poetry and incredible writing. Read it for its timeless nature. I merely encourage that you take the time to read this ‘book’ at least once in your entire life. However if, like myself, you cannot read Homeric Greek I also encourage you to look at the various available translations and decide which sounds like it would suit your personal taste.

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