The most important thing for the Greek heroes is personal glory. It is even more important than the own life, let alone family or fellow citizens. Satisfy all your passions before doing anything else (rage, lust, love, glory, honor, etc.). From the beginning to the end, Achilles is satisfying his thirst for joy, revenge, wrath, sadness, etc, etc, etc. I cannot say that some of the discourses weren't inspiring or even stimulating, but all in all, it looks so vane when looked at with contemporary light. Even that final scene when Achilles takes Hector's body himself for burial, after having destroyed it so much with rage... it is all so vane, that I came to understand why all the drama that is based in those poems is in the end so shallow and futile....Continua
Despite the best efforts of the translators, I felt like a hefty sum of the expressional nuances inherent in the Greek language were lost once translated into English. But then again who cares, we can't all be classics majors.
It's an absolute gem of a story, and unlike my initial fear of the epic brimming with flashy rhetoric and Homeric tropes, I was pleasantly surprised to be proved otherwise; it never lacks in action (read: battle gore, lots of it) or sense of humor. I especially found the interpersonal interactions/relationships between the gods fascinating, often times hilarious. Personally, it was eye-opening to see how the ancients viewed their immortal deities, complete with oscillating loyalties and fickle ambition, and how their traits are diametrically opposed to today's conventional template of what a "God" should embody.
The indefinite line that blurs the protagonist from the antagonist--where both sides have their heroes, antiheroes, and sponsor gods and goddesses--brilliantly gives the plot its humanity amidst the carnage produced by war. One can't deny that Hector's gruesome death doesn't pull at the heartstrings, or that Achilles' actions call for reproach. There's good on both sides of the equation, and it's almost painful to see one side fall to the other.
Entertaining. The epic draws you in, and Homer should rightfully be resting on his laurels....Continua
There's a lot of characters, and they have complex dynamics. An engaging read, but very heavy and quite drawn out. Coming back to it!