The Iliad Essay- Mythology

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Mythology, Period 9 5/13/14 Writing Assignment 2 The Iliad is a prime example of what is called a classic. A classic is defined as a work of enduring excellence that remains relevant for its audience, regardless of the work’s age. When one contemplates on whether or not The Iliad is a classic piece of literature or not, one might say that the evidence that it is a classic is quite obvious. The prime reason why The Iliad is an example of a classic is because it pertains to war and the people who are influenced by it. The Iliad is the first great book, and the first great book about the suffering and loss of war. Homer, for reasons of his own, suppressed the truth about the Trojan war- in reality, the Greeks lost. Homer once said, “Men learn with difficulty… But they are deceived only too readily”. In The Iliad, two characters have the narrative urge, and something approaching a synoptic view of the scenes surging around them. Achilles sings stories of heroes' deeds in battle, and Helen embroiders scenes of fighting on an elaborate textile. Many wishing to make sense of wars in their own time have reached for The Iliad. We are still turning to The Iliad amid our own wars. It gives us a real life description of what occurs on the battlefield as well as the families and friends who suffer from it. The Iliad still has much to say about war, even as it is fought today. It tells us that war is both the bringer of renown to its young fighters and the destroyer of their lives. It tells us about post-conflict destruction and chaos; about war as the great reverser of fortunes. It tells us about the age-old dilemmas of fighters compelled to serve under incompetent superiors. It tells us about war as an attempt to protect and preserve a treasured way of life. It tells us, too, about the profound gulf between civilian existence and life on the front line; about atrocities and
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