Essay: Iliad and Odyssey

Sample Essay

It can be said that these events described relating to the Trojan War and the return of Odysseus laid the foundation of the values that were to be espoused later on is the West considering that these two epics were much quoted and learnt by wise men and the stories told repeatedly, forming much of the basis of the following literature.

The Iliad and the Odyssey can be said to be fairly typical for their genre. They are both epic traditions transferred on by an oral recitation by bands and sung through the ages until they were recorded in the Greek alphabet. Since there was no way to write the introduction of the alphabet to the Greeks, such oral tradition was really the only way to transfer on the memory of great deeds and glorious times and impart a lesson. This is further supported by the research among other traveling singers in different parts of the world who wander about singing lengthy composed works which are frequently passed on from generation to generation (Lord 1960, 97). What is not typical however about the two epics is their relative importance and fame. This is why it is said sometimes that the Greek alphabet was formulated to write and record the two works of Homer.

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