Over the past two months, I’ve been slowly getting my way through The Illiad by Homer, my first Epic poem. Initially, I found The Illiad very overwhelming: there are so many characters, gods and mortals that so much background information was floating around my head. Over the past week or so, however, I’ve really managed to speed through this brilliant action-packed tale of the War on Troy.
Having read The Oresteia by Aeschylus, the only Greek play (of three parts) that has survived in entirety, this was fabulous to read about the events preceding that of Agamemnon. My main reason for picking up this classic was to read more about the character Agamemnon, and sure enough, he’s the same old egotistical, self-fulfilling prophecy of a king. Just reading some of the statements he makes about his fortune (that is, in terms of the wheel of fortune and the justice the gods cast upon him) is just so ironic its hard not to cringe, laugh and pity him all at once. The Greeks are so cruel!
After reading this epic poem, I have concluded that epic poems are much harder for me, personally, to read than a Greek play. Despite that, I am looking forward to reading The Odyssey by Homer, and especially Metamorphoses by Ovid (particularly after reading Stephen Fry’s Mythos, which was absolutely ingenious and a review will be coming soon!).
If you’re looking into reading a classic, Greek, epic poem as difficult as this was for me, it’s a great place to start if you’re up for a challenge. However, if you are feeling demotivated The Illiad may not be the best place to begin. As always, happy reading and thank you for reading my review 🙂