Lessons from the Iliad?

What did you learn from the Iliad?
I just finished it and the only lesson I could really get from it is the danger of Pride.

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That sums it about right

Love the trips.

I learned I was a pussy ass bitchboy who needed to grow the fuck up, become a man and learn that comfort is for children, women and old men.

I've always found Achilles to be a super compelling character. Eternal fame and death or life and a forgotten name?

Consider the following:

>Agamemnon is the villain of the story.
>Both Hector and Achilles are heroic figures

I think the Iliad provides us with an insight into the mind of the 2 heroes who are opposing each other.
The motivation of Achilles is blind revenge for his dead friend. Revenge as a motivation to fight is a common one, in the battle of Stalingrad there is a diary excerpt which says
"we fight to revenge our comrades and our own eventual death"

The motivation of Hector is to protect his native land - another common motivation found in war.
Men die in order that those helpless family members may live - it is an altruistic motive.

The denominating motivation of all the champions is that of glory. Pride is such an interesting Human characteristic.

When Hector is standing outside the Gates of Troy waiting to clash with Achilles he is terrified but what makes him stand his ground is the fear of criticism by his comrades.

He would rather fight and die than be called a Coward. And that has been observed throughout mankinds history.
The approval of others and fear of negative opinion has lead many men down into the soil.

>I have to die if I want my name to be eternal
>also literally everyone else of moderate importance will be remembered alongside me anyways

Always makes me chuckle

Everyone who isn't retarded understood this already

Well he regrets his fate in the odyssey

What about Odysseus, he survived the war, fucked his way back home and had a saga with his name on it to live forever.

Also, I always found Achilles to be such a cry-baby, simply with cheatmode on since his mother was a thot for Zeus, therefore is Odysseus the real patrician's choice.

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-Dont steal the prizegirl of your best soldier

>he is terrified but what makes him stand his ground is the fear of criticism by his comrades
>He would rather fight and die than be called a Coward
>Hector sees Achilles
>nvm jk lol
>cue benny hill music

I agree, Achilles feels like a spoilt child ruled by his emotions. He allows plenty of comrades in arms to die just because of a dispute with Agamemnon.

Achilles forces no one to die. Not his fault others are willing to put up with Agamemnons shit

it's literally all agamemnon's fault

>He would rather fight and die than be called a Coward
Um, he runs from Achilles like a spooked rabbit, you retard. It's the most disappointing climactic fight in literary history. Wolfgang Peterson did it better than Homer.

>cue benny hill music
Literally this.

Achilles chasing Hector can be seen as the Struggle of Mankind with Death.
Initially Hector (Man) is running from Death (Achilles) but then Athena makes him stand his ground - the same can be said with confronting death; do not run from it but accept it when the time comes head on

I learned not to piss off Achilles.
The Odyssey taught me not to piss off Helios.

It's a pretty interesting case for face work - consider if they loose face they will also loose power.

There's a very interesting analysis of the Iliad done by Jonathan Shay. He interprets the book as a lesson about war and soldiers. The Iliad has a lot to say about the bonds between soldiers. How soldiers view their commanders. How soldiers go breserk in reaction to the death of what he calls a "special comrade" (in this case its Achilles reaction to Patroclus death). Additionally Achilles long speech when asked to come back to war was Homers anti-war philosophy. About the pointlessness of war. You can notice that Homer never takes a side in the war. Both sides are represented as morally neutral. Additionally the Gods mostly choose to fight for their personal vendettas. There are many ways to interpret the Iliad. But I found "Achilles in Vietnam" absolutely fascinating. goodreads.com/book/show/6069.Achilles_in_Vietnam

To clarify Shay works with Vietnam veterans and compares their war stories and emotions about war to the Iliad. Shay was informed by the soldiers he worked with that Homer had captured their emotions about war and comradeship in his epics. He finds many interesting parallels, which provide insight into the static nature of war. In conclusion I think Homer was probably a soldier himself as all greek men were. Through his characters he touches on the life of a soldier in a very honest fashion.

Found the high school teacher.

Iliad teaches a doctrine of prevenient greatness, requiring the synergetic effort of man and god.

That Ananke is inevitable, and a bitch.

Oh, so how reality actually works.


Please don't make disparaging posts like this that aren't funny or insightful.

Isn't the point of the Iliad that all men will die in the end? Achilles is sort of both refuted and affirmed. He's confirmed in his belief that it's better to die a legend than live a nobody, but death comes for all men, and so the dead should be respected, because one day it will be you. Hence his willingness to give Hector's body back to Priam.

God does not exist.

That duty and responsibility are more noble than seeking personal glory and that fear is what separates the men from the boys.

lol peabrain


>There is beauty to be found no matter how dire the situation is
>The power which war gives one is deceptive and seductive
>No matter what horrors lie behind and before us there is always hope for benevolence

>is (probably) a Catholic and is calling ME a peabrain
lamo, my dude.

was about to say the same thing

im not a catholic

I bet you are.

Sadly, most people are retarded.

Picking sides is not patrician. Achilles is what happens when you give a man cheat codes, Odysseus had different circumstances that make him more relatable and a better role model for people who desire success but lack the factors we would attribute to luck. Both are excellent characters that reveal different aspects of mankind.

Why did he have to runaround all of Troy so many times?
Achilles must've been chasing him for hours.

>lessons from an archaic poem composed by literal farmers and slaves
lol no

you couldve at least read the odyssey

The Iliad is the single greatest work of poetry ever produced by mankind. Of poetry, I repeat. Do not understand it as a story, but rather as a long poem. 95% of the poetry is lost to translation (and I am not kidding, Homer is seriously one of the most untranslateable authors, mostly due to the extremely intricate play of focus, "zoom" and other visual tricks of his poetry, which is only thoroughly rendered by the Greek). But the 5% left should be enough to make it an enthralling read.
The Iliad is exceedingly visual. You have to accustom yourself to the practice of picturing yourself what Homer is representing. At the risk of sounding crude, it is somewhat close to a "cartoon" ; imagine the Greek vase, and its representation. Each verse of Homer is an image as seen on those vases. The slow pace, the heavy rhythm and the great length of Homer's verse, the dactylic hexameter, makes it so that the poet has the time to construe, through each verse, which usually stands out as an individual unit of meaning, a coherent "picture" which the reader, --- or in Greek times the listener --- should represent himself.

Let me give you an example with the first few lines of the sixth book of the Iliad. My translation is literal,, with some respect for word order, where possible.

Τρώων δ᾽ οἰώθη kαὶ Ἀχαιῶν φύλοπις αἰνή:
πολλὰ δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἔνθα kαὶ ἔνθ᾽ ἴθυσε μάχη πεδίοιο
ἀλλήλων ἰθυνομένων χαλkήρεα δοῦρα
μεσσηγὺς Σιμόεντος ἰδὲ Ξάνθοιο ῥοάων.

The baneful melee of the Trojans and Achaeans was then left alone :
Much, here and there throughout the plain, stretched the battle,
Each one thrusting towards another with their bronze-tipped spears,
Between the streams of the Simoïs and the Xanthus.

The first line, explains that the gods left the battlefield, yet, as they are already gone and the focus now shifts to the quarreling men, they are not mentioned, and their departure is described through its consequences. Since the reader knows the line mentions the departure of the gods back to Olympus, the battle is presented from above, after the gods are gone. This is furthered by Homer's use of "phylopis" for battle, which in fact, means melee : it is an indescriptible chaos, through which we cannot really distinguish the two armies ; the distance, also, is too great. The second line introduces its subject only at the end, and indeed "stretches" the stretching of the battle through the first three quarters of the verse. Suddenly the battle is presented, in a vast pan, as a single line stretching across the plain. Men are not mentioned yet. cont.

On the third line, we are suddenly among men : the verb used for their act of "thrusting" is the same as that used for the battle, at the previous verse. The word Homer uses, "allelôn", means reciprocity : the two lines of men are caught together in this horrific, chaotic melee, where spears keep flowing out of nowhere, and killing people. We are now standing right between the two lines, with spears thrusting around us. This verse has a really slow rhythm ; it tries to produce impact by suddenly introducing men, in a not really heroic setting, where the battle is a glory-less chaos : "phulopis" the word used by Homer in the first verse to describe this situation, is a pejorative one, and made even more so, by "aine", "baneful". Suddenly battle is revealed in its downside, its sheer brutality. The fourth verse then hits, and recasts all that has been said within a geographical framework. Homer doesn't do that because he wants us to understand where the battle is taking place. These two rivers are the most important around Troy. We know about them, he's not trying to tell us about "where" the battle is taking place. He is contrasting the senseless violence of battle with the calm of "the flows of the Simoüis and the Xanthus" to show its absurdity even more. Suddenly we experience a "zoom out" both in "physical view", as this is now a bird eye's perception of the battle, and a "zoom out" in "moral view", as we now see the battle as an outside observer, and realize, through its taking place in a wider, almost "cosmic" context, its absurdity.

I could go on, with the whole of the Iliad. Homer spent his life writing this. Everything, every single word, is thought through. I have skipped over most of the "poetry" in those four lines, such as that produced by sound of rhythm, or by the oppositions of words and meaning which only appear in the Greek, but know that they are there. Every single line. Those are not the "best verses", I barely cherry-picked them, and they do not stand out when you read them casually. Homer is the greatest poet to have ever lived, and one could spend a lifetime going through the jewels he put in his Iliad.

There are no villains. Homer favors the Achaians more than the Trojans, but characters on both sides have depth.

Or not

>Achilles referred to as "the swift and excellent Achilles" the whole time
>can't catch up to Hector

I learned old people write books bad.

so you watched the movie guys? nice... if you read the book one day you'll find that there are no villians in the story. agamemnon was a greek hero, good looking and brave. there are no villians in illiad, not in the modern sense. oh wait, yes, the only villian is the guy in the first or second song (can't remember exactly) who looks ugly and deformed and mocks agamemnon and wants to retreat and leave troy. ironically, by today's moral standards he is actually in the right.
this is the main reason why the movie was so bad, it inserted the american "morality" into the story, changed the characters and the whole story got ruined. achilles didn't love briseis. agamemnon and menelaos wasn't fat and evil. and so on...

There have been numerous film adaptations of the Iliad, I don't even know which one you're talking about.

You should read more about Agamemnon though, user.

I think is right about Agememnon. Doesn't he have one of the most detailed and spectacular aristeia in the Iliad? He also doesn't come across as completely unlikeable. Yes, he takes a lot of treasure that others fight for, and he does take Briseis from Achilleus, but he tries to pay him back many times over and return her to him un-fucked. He's also a good older brother, a good warrior, a good leader for the most part. He is one of the most Chad guys in the story.

I disagree. He only tries to return what he stole when he realizes he needs Achilles. The sincerity of the act is debatable. He doesn't seem to like most of his army, as he is constantly tricking them with odd tests. Maybe villain isn't the right but word I don't like him as a hero either. (Although I am ignorant as to which he is considered by scholars.)

Agamemnon is cursed, literally, and I thought this was his defining trait.