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Edic, Justine Eran B.

10 – Pascal

It is the Late Bronze Age, approximately 1250 B.C. Helen of Sparta (Diane Kruger) becomes Helen of Troy (according to legend) when she leaves her husband Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson) for a prince of Troy named Paris (Orlando Bloom). Her furious and humiliated spouse seeks the help of his brother Agamemnon (Brian Cox), king of Mycenae, to avenge his loss. Raising a huge Greek army, the brothers commenced a war against Troy.  When Paris invited to duel with Menelaus, Paris was defeated and when Menelaus tried to kill Paris. Hector protected his brother and killed him. This is the start of war.  Years of war, Patroclus, the only family of Achilles commanded his army to attack Troy, He disguised as Achilles. Hector thought that he was Achilles and then he got killed. Achilles seeks revenge to Hector. The two duel to death and Hector lose and got killed. Achilles attached Hector’s body to the chariot and dragged him to his camp. King Priam goes to Achilles and asked him a proper burial for his son. King Priam kissed and begged for his son’s body. Achilles agreed and he let go of Briseis too. Cousin of Hector. One of the key warriors for the Greeks is Achilles (Brad Pitt). His counterpart, for the Trojans, is Hector (Eric Bana), son of King Priam (Peter O’Toole).

Unable to defeat the Trojans without deception, the Greeks finally decide to bring soldiers into the city inside a wooden horse. The most important event is when Paris bring Helen to Troy which is the main cause of the war and conflicts. King Priam respectfully asked Achilles for Hector’s body. Which symbolizes respect to the enemy that which Greeks are known for being respectful towards enemies. In the film, the major theme is the theme of love. In particular, the major idea behind the theme of love is that love transcends all.

Paris and Helen are the two major characters to exhibit this idea as their forbidden love is the instigator to the battle of Troy. In the film, Paris and Helen are shown to live in their own world, not caring for the consequences. This ignorance to the consequences gives way to the beginning of the battle of Troy. Even while the battle rages on Paris and Helen overcome all the odds, and eventually at the end of the film, the two of them escape the ruined city of Troy, saved by their love. This greatly contrasts the poem, The Iliad as Helen did not escape the city of Troy with Paris, but was instead taken back by Menelaus.

This shows how much Wolfgang Petersen changes a major point in the story to cater for the drama and romance for the modern audience. In text, Death is glory. This relates to the major theme in The Iliad. Throughout the film, Achilles is shown to be wanting the ultimate glory on the battlefield. Achilles believes that utlimate glory is achieved through his eventual death through battle. In the poem Achilles is torn between chosing fame through his homecoming from a successful battle and achieving fame and glory then and there on the battle field. "Two fates bear me on to the day of death. If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy My journey home is gone, but my glory never dies. If I voyage back to the fatherland I love, My pride, my glory dies... True, but the life that's left me will be long, The stroke of death will not come on me quickly." Book IX Iliad,

This shows how he wishes to achieve true glory on the battlefield, and die with his name 'engraved' into history instead of leaving for home and only gaining a short lived glory. The great British philosopher-mathematician Alfred North Whitehead once commented that all philosophy is but a footnote to Plato . A similar point can be made regarding Greek literature as a whole. Over a period of more than ten centuries

The ancient Greeks created a literature of such brilliance that it has rarely been equaled and never surpassed. In poetry, tragedy, comedy, and history, Greek writers created masterpieces that have inspired, influenced, and challenged readers to the present day. To suggest that all Western literature is no more than a footnote to the writings of classical Greece is an exaggeration, but it is nevertheless true that the Greek world of thought was so far-ranging that there is scarcely an idea discussed today that was not debated by the ancient writers. The only body of literature of comparable influence is the Bible. The language in which the ancient authors wrote was Greek.

Like English, Greek is an Indo-European language; but it is far older. Its history can be followed from the 14th century BC to the present. Its literature, therefore, covers a longer period of time than that of any other Indo-European language. Scholars have determined that the Greek alphabet was derived from the Phoenician alphabet. During the period from the 8th to the 5th century BC, local differences caused the forms of letters to vary from one city-state to another within Greece. From the 4th century BC on, however, the alphabet became uniform throughout the Greek world.  There are four major periods of Greek literature: preclassical, classical, Hellenistic-Roman, and Byzantine. Of these the most significant works were produced during the preclassical and classical eras. At the beginning of Greek literature stand the two monumental works of Homer, the 'Iliad' and the 'Odyssey'. The figure of Homer is shrouded in mystery.

 Although the works as they now stand are credited to him, it is certain that their roots reach far back before his time.  The 'Iliad' is the famous story about the Trojan War. It centers on the person of Achilles, who embodied the Greek heroic ideal. While the 'Iliad' is pure tragedy, the 'Odyssey' is a mixture of tragedy and comedy. It is the story of Odysseus, one of the warriors at Troy. After ten years fighting the war, he spends another ten years sailing back home to his wife and family. During his ten-year voyage, he loses all of his comrades and ships and makes his way home to Ithaca disguised as a beggar. Both of these works were based on ancient legends. The stories are told in language that is simple, direct, and eloquent. Both are as fascinatingly readable today as they were in ancient Greece. The other great poet of the preclassical period was Hesiod.

 He is more definitely recorded in history than is Homer, though very little is known about him. He was a native of Boeotia in central Greece, and he lived and worked in about 800 BC. His two works were 'Works and Days' and 'Theogony'. The first is a faithful depiction of the dull and poverty-stricken country life he knew so well, and it sets forth principles and rules for farmers. 'Theogony' is a systematic account of creation and of the gods. It vividly describes the ages of mankind, beginning with a long-past golden age. Together the works of Homer and Hesiod made a kind of bible for the Greeks. Homer told the story of a heroic past, and Hesiod dealt with the practical realities of daily life.



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