The Iliad Criticism

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The critical reputation of the Iliad is perhaps best demonstrated by noting that it is generally regarded as the first work of true "literature" in Western culture. This is significant not only because the poem stands at the head of the list, as It were, but also because it had to beat out a fair amount of competition to achieve that status.

By the middle of the sixth century BC, around the same time as the Peisistratids in Athens ordered the first "standard edition" of Homer's works to be made, there were at least SIX other epic poems treating various parts of the Trojan War story. Most of these were fairly short, but the Cypria, which covered everything from the decision of the gods to cause the war through Agamemnon's quarrel with Achilles that begins Homer's work, was at least half as long as the Iliad. Unlike the...

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This section contains 913 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Iliad Study Guide
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Epics for Students
The Iliad from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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