THE ILIAD AND TROY
THE ILIAD AND TROY
The movie Troy and the epic poem Iliad narrate the history of ambition and vengeance among the kings and warriors of Greece and the city of Troy. Iliad which emphasizes the story of the hatred of Achilles is incorporated in Troy which narrates more broadly the story of the Trojan War. Troy starts with the intense desire of Agamemnon to expand the military domination of his Greek empire which made Troy, an undefeated and mighty city, a great ambition for him. An opportunity presented itself at him when his brother Menelaus planned revenge to Paris of Troy for running away with his wife. Iliad, on the other hand, starts with Achilles, a powerful Greek warrior, being insulted and enraged when Agamemnon took a slave woman from him and drove him to withdraw from the war and incapacitate the Greek troops. When the Greeks successfully entered Troy on the first day of the war, the story of Iliad begins. It ends with the funeral of Hector, a Trojan prince, who was killed by Achilles. Troy, however, ends with the funeral of Achilles who was killed by Paris by shooting his heel.
Both stories depict the battles in detailed narration by recounting the ways the warriors brutally kill each other. The major differences are in the time frame of the war, the participation of the gods, the theme of the stories, and the characters. Despite the fact that Troy conveys the Trojan War more extensively, Iliad says that the war lasted for ten years while the movie portrays it in weeks. Iliad also conveys active intervention from the Greek gods and goddesses while the movie does not make them vital forces in the war. Gods and goddesses are mentioned by the characters in the movie but no particular character plays a role of a god or goddess. On the theme of the story, Troy focuses more on the lives, personal interests and struggles of the characters while Iliad somehow underscores the possibility of outside intervention in any major event in a society. The war in the epic poem is primarily controlled and governed by divine entities such as Zeus, Aphrodite and Apollo. In Troy, the war and most of the conflicts were triggered by romantic involvements of some characters that caused other characters to develop hatred. Menelaus’ rage was driven by the love affair between his wife and Paris while the willingness of Paris to kill Achilles was due to his relationship with Briseis who is a Trojan. Troy communicates more of the personal tendencies of the characters while Iliad focuses more on their faith in a more powerful being. Finally, some characters in Iliad do not exist in the movie such as Diomedes, Calcas, Idomeneus, Cassandra and Hecuba. Troy also tells the romantic story of Achilles and Briseis which is absent in Iliad. Patroclus is a close friend of Achilles in Iliad while in Troy, they are cousins. Furthermore, Iliad makes Agamemnon and Menelaus survive after the war while Troy tells that all the key characters died in the war. Troy and Iliad both capture the human tendency to desire power and fame, and struggle to achieve these things even if it means coming into conflict with fellow persons.
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