Greek Epics

Topics: Odysseus, Odyssey, Troy Pages: 3 (859 words) Published: October 16, 2012
Greek Epics
There are some challenges in each history period, and authors will create some heroes in their epics that reflect values of the culture at the time. By studying the hero’s actions and his motivations, it tells the society conditions and the civilization of that history period. Homer; the authors of The Iliad and The Odyssey; and Vergil; the authors of The Aeneid are two of the greatest writers in ancient western civilization. There are heroes in these three literatures to reflect the society and culture: Achilles, Odysseus and Aeneid. The Iliad and the Odyssey are two of the oldest ancient literatures by Homer in around 8th century B.C. (Homer, 2012). According to Redfield (1975), “the culture portrayed in Homer’s works is that of Greek Dark Age.” For that reason, the Trojan War as reflected in the Homer poems on a war which actually took place (Homer, 2012). The Iliad is about the final weeks of the Trojan War with Achilles and the Odyssey is about Odysseus’ ten year journey from Troy after the Trojan War to his homeland. The times period that Homer wrote the literatures were filled with conflict and in need for a strong defensive community (Lowrey, 2012). There are events and interactions between characters to reflect the societal expectation. In society at that time, there is no greater glory than a man dies for a noble cause in the battle especially to defense for their homeland (Smith, 2011). In one of Achilles quotes in Iliad “I know only cowards depart from battle, a real warrior stands his ground; whether he is hit or hits another.” (Iliad, Book11, line 432-435). And at beginning of Odyssey, Odysseus quotes “Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Tory. Many cities of men he saw and learned their minds, many pins he suffered, heartsick on the open sea, fighting to save his life and bring his comrades home.” (Odyssey, Book 1, lines1-6)....

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Redfield, J. (1975). Nature and Culture in the Iliad. In J. Redfield, Nature and Culture in the Iliad (p. 99). Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
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