The Iliad

Well guys, I did it! I made it through my very first “Study Book!” The Iliad was first on my list for a reason–I’ve been trying to get to it since high school. I read The Odyssey as required reading, but Homer’s original epic poem never made the cut.

1371

I’ve always loved Greek mythology–I think it’s the basis of many of my other fascinations with old cultures. The stories are just so bizarre and interesting, and often hilarious now that I’m old enough to understand what Zeus’s swan form is actually doing. But epic poetry is just not my cup of tea, and, unfortunately…neither are war stories.

The Odyssey was interesting because it is post-war, and it is a journey. It tells of monsters and treachery, and in the end, a woman waiting at home.

The Iliad…well…Hector always has a bronze flashy shield, Ajax is Giant and Little. Zeus and Hera hate each other more than a suburban married couple. And it seems to me that Patroclus is the real hero of the story, not Achilles, but that’s me. Oh, and Menelaus really does have red hair (I always thought it was weird that they cast him with an Irish guy in the movie, but I guess it actually makes sense!).

Other than that, it was just a bunch of cocky guys fighting each other. The gods had much more of a presence than I expected, but mostly it was all battles an bloodshed, and I just didn’t care much for it.

 

And that, my friends, is my terrible interpretation of Homer’s great war epic. I can hear the academics groaning. It’s ok. I understand. I said I was going to read the list…I didn’t say I was going to enjoy it! I was going to read The Odyssey again right after this, but I think I’m going to switch to some prose for now.

 

Fulfills PopSugar #23:   book more than 100 years old

Fulfills Boxall #73

Wars

We read The Odyssey by Homer in high school, and I remember being fascinated by Penelope. I thought her even stronger than Odysseus, though he was the manly soldier off fighting the crazy monsters on the way home. How strong she had to be, to wait so long, and then outwit the suitors who were wooing her.

I know the story of The Iliad too, of course, and I’ve seen Troy, with Brad Pitt. But I don’t think I’ve actually ever read the epic. It’s on my list, and has been forever.

My husband has these gorgeous hard paperbacks of the two epic poems, and I love to take them out and flip through them. Eventually I will sit down and tackle them, but not yet. I’m not brave enough yet.

wpid-img_20140624_181733.jpg