Greek Classics

Greek Classics

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1900 edition. Excerpt: ...introduction, or statement ofhis theme. That theme is the anger of Achilles. It is not the siege ofTroy. It is not the sack of the city. It is simply the wrath of great Achilles. It is a very curious circumstance, such being the real state of the case, that critics should universally, almost or quite, have assumed that Homer's example fixed the law of the epic requiring the epic to begin with a plunge in medias res, that is, into the midst of the action to be presented. This, in point of fact, is Virgil's method, and after Virgil, Milton's. But Homer really does nothing of the sort. On the contrary, having first merely announced the subject of his poem, Homer, instead of taking the famous plunge into the midst of things, goes back a little way, not afterward, but in the very outset, and relates, with some retrospective glimpses, the occasion of that wrath of which he is to sing. The mistake of critics has apparently arisen from their unconsciously forgetting what Homer proposes to do, and substituting in their minds, for the strictly limited theme that Homer really treats, that larger subject which, except as it were incidentally, he does not treat at all, namely, the siege of Troy. In the same way, probably, is to be accounted for the error in naming the poem " Iliad." "Iliad," as we have seen, the poem is not. The occasion of the resentment of Achilles is, as has been said, the arbitrary and despotic taking away from him by Agamemnon of a highly prized female captive. Agamemnon had been incited to this piece of injustice by the necessity laid upon him of giving up a captive of his own on the claim of her father, priest of Apollo. Agamemnon would at the same time both make his own loss good, and more

Product details

  • Paperback | 102 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 5mm | 195g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236942671
  • 9781236942678