"The Iliad" by Homer book review

Essay by [w]ilson.[s]High School, 10th gradeB+, August 2007

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A classic novel in its clearest sense is a novel that was written in ancient Greece or literature that is based on its form. Besides this, a classic novel tends to be timeless and should be of lasting interest. It has universal themes that can be related to all societies and has a sense of morality- a classic novel should say something of value, drawing attention to human problems, condemn or applaud certain points of view.

The Iliad together with The Odyssey is one of two epic poems written by Homer. The one I read was a Penguin classic and was translated into an English prose for readers to get a better understanding. It is widely regarded as being the earliest example of ancient Greek literature. Historical, archaeological, and linguistic evidence suggests that the epics were composed between 750 and 650 BC. The Iliad is certainly a piece of literature that has stood the test of time - and with good reason.

War has constantly been a feature of human society and the Iliad tells of all its horrors like few other pieces of literature. But the epic is more than just a war story - it's a story of human limits and mankind's (especially in the West) constant struggle to deal with the realities they create. It also created archetypes that great writers-including Vergil, Dante, Shakespeare, Stephen Crane, and James Joyce-alluded to when in need of an apt metaphor or simile to assist in writing.

The Iliad tells the epic story of the climax of the ten year Trojan War. During the 10 years, both sides saw a lot of bloodshed and violence but neither have been able to force the opposition into surrendering. The legendary Greek warrior Achilles quarrels with Agamemnon-his commander-over possession of the lovely maid...