The story of the great artists of literature is glorified by history tells their tale. Homer is such one great poet. He is the author of the epic-tale of the Greek-Troy war entitled the Iliad. Homer immortalized it and its epic heroes .In this essay, I will examine the similes, that immortalize Homer as a poet, consider the canonization of his work, and end up offering a short poem as an example of how a literary work can become canonical. ( Scott.W, 2012) Homer’s similes characterized that they are long, extended, rich, omniscient, and informative.
In Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey, we are presented to a number of characters of heroic features. We also meet several gods. However, the presence of these gods can be questioned. Are they really relevant to the plot of the story? As Kearns mentions, the poems are not about the gods, but they are rather about human beings.
The concepts of duty and honor are displayed thoroughly throughout Homers’ the Iliad. The way in which the two concepts are represented and displayed vary greatly, whether it be through war or through personal turmoil and triumph. The two main characters that display the concepts of duty and honor in the Iliad would be Hector of Troy and Achilles of Greece. These two characters are idolized by those who follow them and whom they protect. Throughout the Iliad, these two fierce heroes are ones that never back down from any single adversary nor any obstacle that the gods have placed upon them – whether it be the loss of loved ones, enduring a perilous journey, or even sacrificing one’s life.
Homer’s Iliad is one of the earliest depictions of war ever written. At face value, the epic is the story of Achilles’ rage, beginning with his honor being insulted by Agamemnon and it continues with the death of his best friend, Patroclus. Yet, the Iliad showcases so much more. It illustrates two very different perceptions of war: one one hand glorious honor and victory, and on the other, the the jarring horror of death and destruction. Homer, in his poem, incorporates scenes in which the characters contemplate how meaningful war and violence really is; a thought which, tragically, many individuals in today’s world contemplate every day.
In The Odyssey, references to musicians or poets like the author, Homer, are often used to enhance the story and the character of the poem’s hero, Odysseus. Homer inserts himself and his identity as a storyteller into his story this way, creating a comparative relationship between himself and his hero. Homer’s comparative relationship, expressed through the use of the character Demodokhos, the use of deities, and descriptions of Odysseus himself, stresses the importance of storytellers as most fit to understand heroes and their stories. As directed by the poet, storytellers in the poem are most able to provide insight into those they speak about because of the similarities between them and their heroes. Directly embodying Homer and other poets,
Homer’s Odyssey was a continued journey of the hero Odysseus after he left Troy. So, naturally, I shall be comparing and contrasting Homer’s Iliad with the epic I took part in. The two biggest aspects of the stories were the cultural influences of the text and the hero Odysseus’s role. For the Iliad he was a side character, with a few important contributors; however, the Odyssey, he was the main character and was at the center of the conflict. The second aspect, the cultural influences, is a bit more lengthy in its analysis.
In these poems, Homer introduces the concept of Virtue (aretê in Greek), excellence, the ideal of perfection of the epic heroes’ bravery, cunning, strength, nobility, and achieving immortal glory. The virtue of courage and competition is also introduced with the famous phrase, derived from the sixth book of Iliad translated as: “to strive always for the highest aretê, and to excel all others” or "ever to excel and be better than the rest" Homer, per Kitto, “enshrined all wisdom and all knowledge…combined with his hopeless fatalism, with the fierce joy in life and the exultation in human achievement and in human personality. We hear in the Iliad and in most Greek literature, the tragic note produced by the tension produced by two forces: passionate delight in life and clear apprehension of its unalterable framework:” The following few lines of the Homeric poetry of the Iliad describes man’s generations on earth, and their fate. “As is the generation of leaves, so is that of humanity, The wind scatters the leaves on the ground, but the live timber; Burgeons with leaves again in the season of spring
Where The Iliad seemed to celebrate war, it also went through the brutal deaths, slavery, sicknesses, and intense fighting mechanisms. Males in The Iliad saw glory to only be able to be sought through winning battles, as the females saw war as a terrible aspect, since it could take the lives of the ones they loved. Characters in The Iliad, Achilles, Homer, and Paris, all had contrasting views and understandings of the meaning of war, depending upon their fighting ethics, confidence, and courage. They all hoped to gain honor through kleos, which may allow them to gain approval from the Gods to enter Mount Olympus (Puchner 225). War is an act that tears everyone in competing areas apart, yet is the only thing that brings contrasting individuals together.
These changes are important because they start for glory and honor like most Greek heroes do, but in the end they get rid of their honor and pride and instead go for their own personal desires. The Iliad teaches us about how gruesome war is and that it is something that is terrible, but it has always been there and there is no way around it. The Odyssey teaches us that pride and honor can destroy a person and being patient is a virtue that is worth having. The Greeks believed that in the end justice would emerge and that good would always triumph. They also believed that in war they must respect each fighter and give them a swift
Homer also teaches that if one cannot keep their cool wisdom and strength are nothing. Odysseus who watched his men be cannibalized by the Cyclops but was patience for his right time to escape. Even in a story like the Odyssey we can learn much of what Homer tries to show us. The Odyssey was truly a story that entailed interesting characters, a strong plot, and a worthwhile theme. Written by Homer in a time of pagan worship it reflects the period in which it was written.