The Ancient Worldview

Topics: Homer, Iliad, Achilles Pages: 2 (586 words) Published: January 11, 2012
The Ancient Worldview
Frequently authors use literary devices such as the plot, theme, characters, and imagery, in their work to express their personal worldview. Sometimes this is a conscious effort and other times they do it accidentally, since it is very natural to be influenced by social, cultural, or historical factors that occur throughout one’s life. Worldview plays an even bigger part in literature that was created in Ancient history, because we must often rely on the translation of a story that has been passed orally from generation to generation for thousands of years. The Bhagavad Gita for example was written over two thousand years ago, and since the original language of the Gita was Sanskrit, which many people did not know how to translate, the first complete English version was not made until 1785 (Johnson, 1994). Consequently, before this time the Gita was simply passed orally in a very broad translation, and with no theological overview of the text. (Johnson, 1994) The Illiad which was created sometime between 800 and 400 BC, much before written history also relied on oral translation of the text. After a few centuries and many storytellers later accurate recall of historical events blended with Greek Mythology and made it very difficult to determine just how much of the story was based on fact or fiction.

During the time periods that these literary works were written mass production was not available, therefore the worldview of the storyteller had a great impact on how the literature was being passed along. For The Bhagavad Gita, this meant that the translation may vary depending on the readers spiritual views. This text represents Hinduism and Indian Spirituality and if the translator had different religious beliefs they omit or change the story to fit their own belief(Johnson, 1994).

The Illiad, on the other hand, is based much on the mythology of Ancient Greece. (Manguel, 2007) However, since the myths underwent so many changes...

References: Johnson, W. J. (1994). The bhagavad gita. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.
Manguel, A. (2007). Homer 's the iliad and the odyssey: A biography. New York, NY: Grove/Atlantic Inc.
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