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Dicuss similarities and differences between Homer's Iliad and the...

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Dicuss similarities and differences between Homer's Iliad and the movie Troy with reference to what the movie has brought to modern day western culture

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  • May 13, 2005
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The ancient legend of Troy, recorded in Homer's epic poem "The Iliad" Oxford (trans. Robert Fitzgerald University Press 1974) has been retold in many other forms, the most recent being the blockbuster film "Troy" (2004, Wolfgang Peterson). "Troy" is a basic retelling of the myth, lacking many elements of the book thus containing many inaccuracies. However, it appeals to a modern day audience shortening and condensing stories from the "Iliad", "Odyssey" and "Aenead" and greatly reducing the time span of events. Some might say "Troy" is sacrilegious, but could merely be viewed as another interpretation of events as "The Iliad" is, too, a secondary source of evidence. The texts differ greatly from one another but contribute to pass on valuable tales to Western culture; all that is left of Greek history.

As for the site of Troy itself, researchers have found that descriptions in Homers "Iliad" coincide with their findings, which is more than the film's representation can say. Troy, or Ilium, existed on the West Coast of what is modern day Turkey, around 1200 BC. There are many layers of strata and evidence suggesting that Ilium was indeed attacked and burned to the ground. Hittite texts also make reference to the characters of Homer's "Iliad" and a possible war. Archaeologists are still questioning their finds and searching for evidence to support or disprove the many theories that evolve around Troy.

Between the book and the film there are a wealth of differences, and similarities only lie in the basic, undisputed ideas. "The Iliad" begins in the ninth year of the ten year siege of the Greeks upon Troy, whereas the movie shows Paris taking Helen away from Troy angering Menelaus in the process. The Greeks sail across the Aegean Sea (in ships of a questionable eighth century design www.archaeology.org/onlinereviews/troy) for vengeance upon Priam's Kingdom, with the assistance of Achilles. Fighting and bloodshed follow, culminating in the well-known wooden horse...