Discuss similarities and differences between Homer's Iliad and Wolfgang Peterson's film 'Troy' with reference to what it has added to modern day society.

Essay by KesingtonHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2005

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The Iliad is the epic tale of the Trojan War, often told in verse, and composed by the famous Greek poet Homer around the eighth or ninth century BC. Throughout the ages, it has been translated into hundreds of different languages, and remains one of the greatest epics ever told. In the past century, with the advent of several revolutionary new forms of media, including television, Homer's 'The Iliad' has been further incorporated into popular culture and our modern society, almost subliminally. Several film adaptations have been produced, including 'Helen of Troy' (1956), and most recently, 'Troy' (2004).


The historian Heroditus claims that Homer was a Greek living in Ionia on the west coast of Asia Minor or Anatolia (modern Turkey). Heroditus says he was a native of the island of Chios and supposedly lived around eight hundred and fifty BC, although other, more recent historians place him closer to seven hundred and fifty BC.

Tradition depicts Homer as a blind minstrel, wandering from town to town, reciting poetry and muse that had come from a very oral tradition. It is unclear exactly when 'The Iliad' was first put into writing. Many scholars believe that 'The Iliad' and 'The Odyssey' were not composed by a single person, and that epic tradition of the books was probably formed two or three hundred years before and alphabet was developed in Greece around the mid to late eighth century BC.

The Plot

'The Iliad' is a tale of heroes and heroines, gods and goddesses, war, and love, but mostly it is the story of the warrior Achilles, of his anger and determination, and of his slaying of Prince Hector, the son of King Priam of Troy. The purpose of the Trojan War was to recover Helen, wife of Menelaus, the king of...