Rasas in Homer's Epics

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.

The Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer – Structural Aspects

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’ suggests constancy in space.

The Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer - Introduction

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 translations provided in [1] and [2]