Iliad | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by C. M. Bowra

This literature criticism consists of approximately 31 pages of analysis & critique of Iliad.
This section contains 9,064 words
(approx. 31 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by C. M. Bowra

SOURCE: "The Poetry of Action," in Homer, Duckworth, 1972, pp. 141-64.

In the following essay, Bowra explores the dramatic quality of the Homeric epics, maintaining that although it "arises from action, it often goes beyond it and touches on the character of the actors, their thoughts and their feelings as their words reveal them. "

The Iliad and the Odyssey are preeminently poems of action. Their first purpose is to engage the hearers in what happens, to involve them imaginatively in it. In this respect they resemble not only other heroic poetry but much oral narrative verse which may be sub-heroic or shamanistic. Their main objective can be paralleled in ancient poems like Gilgamesh and in modern ones like the Kirghiz Manas. In such poems the thrill of action comes first but is attended by much...

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This section contains 9,064 words
(approx. 31 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by C. M. Bowra