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The women are not entirely silent, and goddesses always have plenty to say, but mortal women speak primarily to lament. They grieve for their dead sons, dead fathers, dead husbands and dead protectors; for the city of Troy, soon to fall, and for their own freedom, taken by the victors of war.
Andromache pleads with her Trojan husband Hector not to leave her and their infant son to go back to fight Achilles.
She has already endured the sack of her home city by Achilles, and seen the slaughter of her father and seven brothers, and the enslavement of her mother. Hector knows this, but he insists that his own need to avoid social humiliation as a battle-shirker trumps it all: He hopes only to be dead before he has to hear her screams.
We then see that the fall of a city is the end of a story only for the male warriors: Barker is Homeric in her attentiveness to the feel of skin, blood, bones, crackling wounds and screams Barker keeps the main bones of the Homeric poem in place, supplementing Homer at the end of the story with Euripides.
We never get as close to Achilles as we do to Briseis, but he is a compelling figure in his fascinating combination of brutality and civility. But Achilles, however fascinating he may be, is not at the centre of this story.
The novel provides a moving, thought-provoking version of what is perhaps the most famous moment of The Iliad: I spread my legs for the man who killed my husband and my brothers. In the hands of a lesser writer, it could have felt preachy.
A person, not just an object to be looked at and fought over. This central historical insight feels entirely truthful. Barker has a quasi-Homeric gift for similes: There is a Homeric simplicity and drive in some of the sentences: The gods remain mostly off stage but they are present in the background, magically restoring the mutilated dead body of Hector.
This is an important, powerful, memorable book that invites us to look differently not only at The Iliad but at our own ways of telling stories about the past and the present, and at how anger and hatred play out in our societies.The Iliad: A New Translation CAROLINE ALEXANDER VINTAGE, $ "Rage – Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles." With this call to the epic muse The Iliad, and Western literature, begins.
Composed around the mid-8th century BC by a reputedly blind bard named Homer, the tale of Troy's year siege by a Greek alliance – enraged, improbably, by the kidnap of an adulterous Spartan queen .
Homer’s epic poem begins with the word “menin”, meaning wrath or rage, which indicates what it is all about. It ends with the funeral of Hector. Hughes’s novel begins: “Fury. The Iliad is a great and epic poem having its basis in the mythology of the people in Greece.
It accounts for the significant events of the Trojan War, a mythical conflict in the BC (Litcharts). The Iliad is the earliest work in the Greek oral and literary tradition to which it refers to the real events.
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker review – a feminist Iliad This brilliant retelling of Homer’s epic poem focuses on the cost of war to women through the story of Briseis, Achilles.
For a discussion of the poetic techniques used by Homer in the Iliad and his other great epic, the Odyssey, see Homer: Homer as an oral poet. For a discussion of the Iliad in the context of other ancient Greek epics, see Greek literature: Ancient Greek literature: The genres: Epic narrative.
Though Homer's Iliad, which is an epic poem about the Trojan War, is taught less frequently than The Odyssey, it is also an essential piece of classical, ancient Greek literature.
Together, these two works form the foundation of centuries of literature that followed.