How do Homer’s the Iliad and Odyssey compare and contrast? July 4, 2012 at 8:12 am
How do Homer’s the Iliad and Odyssey compare and contrast?
The Iliad begins with Chryses, a prophet of Apollo, coming to a Greek camp and offering valuable “penalty tokens” requesting the return of his daughter who the Greeks had captured in a raid. Because Agamemnon believed she was rightfully his, he refused. Most of his fellow Greeks wanted him to return her in order to avoid conflict. In order to preserve his time (honor, respect, value), Agamemnon brings danger to them all. Chryses prays to Apollo and a plague is released upon the Achaeans. Achilles, a basileus in the Greek army, suggests seeking insight from the prophet Calchas. Upon doing so all are informed that Agamemnon is responsible for the plague because he refused to return his geras (prize), the daughter of Chryses.
In order to preserve his time and relieve the burden of the plague, Agamemnon decides to take someone else’s geras. He threatens to takes Achillesgeraand this make the destructive anger of Achilles “sing”. However, Athena intercedes and causes him to restrain himself. Agamemnon’s men seize hisgera, Briseis, and Achilles refuses to fight. Needing him for a successful battle, they offer him his gera and more, but he refuses. His rage is kindled against Agamemnon. Achilles rejects the system upon which heroic culture was built. Because he receives his time from Zeus, he doesn’t care what people think.
Upon hearing about the death of his companion Patroclus, Achilles attacks the Trojan forces and kills Hector, Patroclus’s killer. He drags his body behind his chariot for days wishing he would have fought sooner and prevented the death of his friend. When Priam, Hectors father comes to meet with Achilles, they celebrate a mutual respect for the lives lost and for each other and they make peace. Hector is buried and the city still stands.
The Odyssey opens with Zeus reflecting on mortal affairs....
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