Since the beginning of Greek literature, two works have stood tall as the most widely recognised and revered piece of literature in the western world. They are The Illiad and The Odyssey by ancient Greek poet, Homer. Their estimated date is believed to be around the 8th century. They are primary examples of epic scale narratives that capture key historical events, spanning a long amount of time and countless characters.
The Illiad tells the story of hero Achilles. Having lived a short but brave and eventful life, Achilles embodies all Greek ideals that make men admirable. He was the strongest and most courageous warrior of Agamemnon’s army in the Trojan War that involved the fall of Troy. Achilles was firm but fair, and kind to those he deemed worthy of living but brutal to his enemies. Ultimately, The Illiad is a tragedy about Achilles’s life and the nature of war. It tells of how war crumbles majestic cities, brings about destruction, and sways the opinions of kings.
While The Illiad concerns itself with warrior Achilles, The Odyssey recounts the epic tale of another legendary Greek hero, Odysseus. He has been portrayed as a man of outstanding wit and eloquence, both resourceful and courageous. He is equipped with all the qualities that can make for a great story of reconciliation and recovery in the hero’s journey. His wanderings are the central theme of The Odyssey, which also tells of how he helped to capture the legendary city of Troy with the help of a wooden horse. When Agamemnon’s army was nearly defeated, they had the brilliant idea of sneaking into the city with the help of a massive wooden horse given as a gift to the people of Troy. This led to the famous fall of Troy which is recounted to this day.