The Iliad Comparison Paper

Topics: Homer, Poetry, Epic poetry Pages: 3 (873 words) Published: November 27, 2005
The Iliad Paper
"Polonius, ‘What do you read my Lord?' Hamlet, ‘Words, words, words.'" -Shakespeare, Hamlet, II, ii, 193-4. Reading, writing, speaking, these are the things that define our humanity. Without words or the ability of speech we would once again be equal to the animals we preside over. In the scheme of time we have perfected this human ability above all else; we teach it, correct it, and embellish it to no end. Even so stories may be told in many different ways, simply by altering the way we write. The Iliad is written as an original epic written in Greek, by Homer, which has been translated many times over by English novelists so that we too can enjoy this riveting tale of Achilles' rage. Though translating the book is trouble enough as it is, some authors go to the trouble of implementing a rhyme scheme too. The story is changed not only for the writers' pride and sense of self accomplishment, but to help us readers to fully understand what Homer is saying, because none of us could really understand Greek, as close to his thoughts as possible. The two translations analyzed here are The Changes in poetic form, diction, and flow of these two versions make a world of difference when reading these texts, and the beauty of the shows greatly.

In the two versions compared here the first is written in prose, a non-rhyming paragraph style, and the second in a poetic epic form. The first selection of the two is a novel, written out in paragraphs as to give the reader an easy read through of battles, ill-tempered old men, and seemingly unimportant women. Therein lies our problem, The Iliad is not a short story, it is not a quick read to which anyone could simply just put away when finished, this is a work of art. Admittedly it is hard to read about so many deaths in the same way over and over again, and see the same pain, the same agony and despair, without the distraction of pretty words, in a plain novel. Putting this intense story in prose...
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