Homer was the name given to either a single poet or a collection of poets who created the magnificent epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey, written in Greece in approximately 800 BCE. Pundits have debated for years if Homer was actually a single person or a number of different storytellers.
The Iliad tells the story of the Trojan War between the Greeks or Achaeans and the ancient city of Troy. The opening lines of The Iliad appear in the film Voices in Wartime.
Opening lines of The Iliad
Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaens countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many souls,
great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end.
Further Research and Questions for Reflection: Homer and the Opening Lines of The Iliad
The questions and directives that follow should help guide your research on The Iliad.
- Create a deity tree of the Greek gods that appear in The Iliad. Some of the gods and deities you should include are: Appollo, Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Cronus, Hermes, Leto and the Nine Muses.
- Provide a summary of the mortal characters that appear in The Iliad. Why is Achilles referred to as one of the greatest warriors of all times?
- Summarize the plot of The Iliad.
- Why is it that Achilles is filled with rage?
- What is meant by the phrase “made their bodies carrion?”
- What is the will of Zeus?
- What is the role of the Muse in this story?