The epics, Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, largely complement each other in terms of what they offer to connoisseurs. Using the terminology of the rasas (flavours of emotions), the predominant rasa in the Iliad, which also acts as the sthāyi-bhāva, is valour (vīra). To sustain the undercurrent of valour for over 15,000 lines is a great challenge, which has been met successfully only by poets like Vālmīki, Vyāsa and Homer. This indeed gives us the...
 
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The events in the Iliad span only a few weeks in the final year of the war and most of them occur outside the city-walls of Troy. In the Odyssey, the events take place over a span of ten years and at different places on the earth and in the netherworld too. While the Iliad gives us microscopic details by zooming in on time, keeping the space constant, the Odyssey gives us a telescopic view of different places at different times. The name ‘Iliad...
 
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Consistency and irony When Odysseus heads towards the city of Ithaca at first in the disguise of a beggar, stray dogs which are unfamiliar with him start barking and attacking him. He is rescued by the swineherd Eumaeus (O. B14). However, on the following day, as he heads towards his palace in disguise, his pet dog Argus identifies its master through smell and sound, even from a distance “….And a dog that lay there raised his head and pricked up...
 
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Excessive greed and curiosity kill! Patroclus, who is moved to pity by the words of Nestor and the sight of the causalities on the side of the Achaeans, makes up his mind to enter the battlefield. Although Achilles is hesitant at first, he allows Patroclus to lead the Myrmidons in his armor. He however warns him that he should only fight to defend the Achaean camp and retire as soon as the camp is cleared of the enemies. Patroclus agrees at...
 
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Analysis – Characters and events   The epics, Iliad and Odyssey, are placed in the backdrop of war and voyage at sea. Both war and voyage have always posed unexpected challenges, have given rise to intense emotions and unpredictable outcomes. Both war and voyage throw a challenge to a person’s very life. In addition to this, the intervention of supernatural powers manifested in the form of Gods, visit to unfamiliar lands and encounter with...
 
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The current series on the epics of Homer is in six parts. The series contains a brief synopsis of the stories, analysis of the main characters and events, figures of speech and a discussion on the Greek epic structure. A talk on this topic was delivered by the author on 20th June 2016 in a seminar on Mahakavyas organized by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore The current article adopts anglicized versions of proper nouns and the English...
 
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