Welcome to post 2 of the readalong for Homer's The Iliad! I was really excited about this one, and I am glad I got to share in the fun with all of you.
I was expecting great things for this one, since The Odyssey is one of my all-time favorites. Where The Odyssey seems a little more intimate, this one seemed so in my face from the beginning. The names, the gods, the places....it was all over the place and people were appearing left and right...it was a little overwhelming at the beginning, especially getting through book 2, but I persevered and finished it.
I enjoyed learning more about the history that is referenced in The Odyssey and other Greek works. It was interesting to see Achilles as he was intended, as well as the other Greek heroes. I was enthralled with the descriptions of war, of Troy, and of those pesky gods who continually interfered and influenced the fighting.
I felt that we saw much more of the gods than I thought they would. They certainly added to the drama, and every time they popped up, I almost felt they were there for comic relief. ;) I jest, but I truly did enjoy their antics and pestering of the mortals.
My biggest annoyance with it was all of the battle scenes and the length. There were times when I wanted something else to happen-some more depth to the characters beyond their fantastic sword skills. Don't get me wrong, I love a good battle scene, but let's be honest, their war was slightly ridiculous and lasted far too long. :)
My favorite aspect of reading this was seeing Odysseus before he is a broken man in The Odyssey. Here, he seemed so much more youthful and carefree. He is a man away from home and ready to fight. In pieces of The Odyssey, you truly feel for him as he struggles to get home to his wife and son. It was an interesting transformation for me to accept, and I wonder how I would have viewed the two had I read them opposite the way I did.
Once again, I enjoyed and loved Fagles' translation. He has a way of catching the cadence of reading aloud that I simply love. I read many portions of this out loud to myself and my cats, just to "feel" the story as it was intended. I would love to listen to this (as well as The Odyssey) on audio, just to have the full experience of being read to by a bard. ;) I will say that I could only read to myself when Matt was gone, since it irritated him to no end!
Overall, this was an incredible reading experience. I was excited to read more about the Greeks, and this only made me anxious to read more of the Greek pieces left on my list (I do have quite a few left!). That being said, The Odyssey still trumps this one as my favorite. There is something about Odysseus' passion that I really love, as well as Telemachus' growth into manhood. If you haven't read The Odyssey yet, please go do so as soon as possible.
Please leave a comment and a link to your post below so I may link them here! Thank you for joining in on the fun!