Questions and Answers on Iliad, An Ancient Epic Poem

Published: 2022-02-28
Questions and Answers on Iliad, An Ancient Epic Poem
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  Poem Homer
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 581 words
5 min read

Iliad is an ancient epic poem that was written by Homer who depicted life in Ancient Greek. In this poem, the author describes several characters that men were supposed to express. For instance, heroes who were mostly men were highly respected and worshiped by other people in the society. One would live and die in war just to prove that he was a hero. Hector and Achilles went into battle to find who was a true hero. Different authors have different views on the topic of human beings.

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How does Adam Parry explain the fact that everything in the Iliad is regularly presented as all men commonly perceive it?

According to Parry, human beings are constrained by the values and attitudes they have towards things and life around them. This, in one way, makes great unity among men. For instance, the moral standard of life is agreed upon and followed by everyone in Iliad. Parry used Epic Poetry to indicate how men agree upon set standards. All poems have a formula in their verses. No matter how they were combined or recombined, it was restricted to what was said. Homer describes a fire concerning glory. This is the same fire that was about to engulf the Greek ship, but it was glorified since that was the restriction of the formula. No one would write about the horror of the fire, which would have made sense.

The other way that Adam explains how the same things and values unify men is through the way expressions were made in Ancient Greece. To express things, honor or power, it was done through the use of tangible things. For instance, in Sarpedon's speech, he expresses "the best seat at the feast, the fullest cups of wine, the finest cuts of meat, and so forth." This type of expression is also present most parts of the Iliad poem according to Adam. Thus Parry argues that common language and expressions unify men. He says "Men say the same things about the same things, and so the world to them..."

How does this accord or not with the suggestion of Finley?

Finley is of a contrary opinion. He argues that Homeric verses could be an indication of society representation. According to Finley, this verses and restriction they come with could be suggesting that Homeric warrior thought little about their lives, thus did not have an extensive self-reflection. It could also be a way of implying that these people did not question about their way of life or maybe they universally accepted the values, attitudes, and standards they found abiding in them. Heroes could explain this in Iliad such as Hector and Achilles. These two go into war with different motives. They are not afraid of death because they believe that death comes with respect and one being regarded as a hero. To these two, death was more important than life itself. Hence, Finley arguments could be justified. If Hector and Achilles had an intensive self-reflection, they would have realized that death in the battle was painful. They would have viewed life as being important. However, if they thought about that, they would be considered in the society as cowards.

Summing up, understanding Ancient Greek work required intensive scrutiny and analysis. Authors can give their opinion on how things were done in a particular manner. Their opinion may be true depending on the evidence. Nevertheless, literature is an art that can be expressed and understood from different angles.

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