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Was "Troy" The Movie Accurate According To Homer

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Was "Troy" the Movie Accurate According to Homer?

Did the movie Troy, released in 2004, accurately depict the story of Homer's

epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey, and was it a good movie from a critical point of

view? I think it was a good movie from an entertainment standpoint, but it fell short in

it's comparison to Homer's epics. As a fan of "epic" movies, I have watched the movie

Troy a couple of times. In comparing the movie to the epic, there are various

discrepancies between the two. First I'll address the overall flow of the movie, in other

words the organization and coherence of the movie.

The movie Troy was a lavishly produced movie, often quoted as

a "Blockbuster", it was a movie with a large budget and big name actors. But was it

accurate? The time period involved with the legend of Troy is basically attributed to

around 1334 - 1184 BC depending upon several individuals who chronicled events in that

area. Many believe the excavations at the site discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in

1871 are of the city of Troy. If true, this excavation dates the burning of Troy to around

1200 BC time which is close to the traditional date of 1184 BC generally associated with

the siege of Troy. So how did the movie reflect these times? Was their presentation of

weapons, ships, clothing and such accurate?

"Homer's warriors are often described as being heavily armoured with bronze (Iliad

5.698, 13.372, 14.383), while the epithet commonly used to describe them collectively

is 'bronze-armoured Achaians' (Iliad 1.371, 3.131, 10.287). The regimented figures

depicted on the Warrior Vase (LH IIIb/c), found by Schliemann at Mycenae are the best

representations of warriors from the Trojan War period. The bearded warriors wear

plumed horned helmets, body armour and greaves, and carry shields that are round

except for a scallop on the bottom; they are armed with short spears." (Mycenaean)

Based upon the excavations at the site attributed to Troy, the clothing (Armor) and the

weapons used within the movie appear fairly accurate. Brad Pitt and Eric Bana as

Achilles and Hector both wear bronze and leather based armor and use weapons which

are similar in look and appearance to the bronze weapons of 1184 BC. This was also the

start of the Iron Age, so slightly darker weapons (mainly spears) make their appearance


The ships used by the Greek army in their trip from Menelaus' kingdom were

triremes which were the multi-decked and rowed military ship of the day as shown in the

movie. Overall the movie seemed to follow the historical path of weapon evolution and

nothing from later dates was thrown in to make it more "exciting" except maybe the

shields. It was difficult to tell from the movie, but most shields of the time period were

several layers of stretched animal hides. The shields in the movie appeared to be metal.

Also apparent (and admitted to by the producers) was the scale of the city. The buildings

and statuary are generally regarded as a feasible look for the period; however "the

movie enlarged the building and statues for the sake of making things more dramatic in

appearance". (Troy)

The personalities and depictions of the characters in the movie had to be "interpreted" by

the actors. The main characters are presented in a manner that is accurate is some

places and seemingly exaggerated in others place for the period. Overall, the

ruthlessness and brutality of the warfare of this time was pretty accurate considering this

is a movie and you can't actually kill people. So the acting was very important in

conveying this type of battle. The Iliad itself describes characters such as Achilles, Ajax

and Patroclus as formidable and fearless warriors. The actors therefore had to present

this image and convey the attitude of superiority and ruthlessness of the time. I was a

little disappointed in the Achilles and Patroclus characters. Neither character appeared to

be sufficiently hardened for the time, with the exception of Achilles' first scene in the

movie where he takes on the best warrior from the other army. Ajax was pretty well

portrayed as a Greek warrior of the time, played as arrogant and brash and craving the

fight. The way he pushed his rowers to get them to the beach so he could join the fight

seemed appropriate for the attitude at the time. Patroclus however just did not seem like

a typical warrior that would have been the friend and companion of Achilles'. In the

movie he's introduced as a relative, not the mighty warrior type he is portrayed in the

Iliad. Although Brad Pitt was not terrible in the role of Achilles', it did not seem his overall




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