Tradition and Design in the Iliad

By C. M. Bowra | Go to book overview

XI
HOMER AND THE HEROIC AGE

Homer found the subject of the Iliad in the doings of an age of heroes. For him the world had changed since those spacious days, and the race of the heaven-born had perished. The world of his similes is different from the world of his story, and he is fully conscious that his contemporaries are weaker than the great men of old. He knows that men, οἱ + ̑οι νυ + ̑ν ßροτοί εἰσι,1 cannot do what his heroes did. Between him and them everything has grown more commonplace, and the golden past is dead with Agamemnon in the grave. This gulf between Homer and his subject has often been overlooked, but it is of great importance for a proper appreciation of his poetry. It is, especially, one of the many differences between him and most early poetry. Neither the author of Beowulf nor the author of the Song of Roland shows any such feeling that his own days were vastly inferior to those of which he writes. Perhaps they thought so, but both are silent on any such sense of inferiority. Even the marvels and miracles which they describe seem to belong to a world which still existed for them. The comet which appeared to the Conqueror would have seemed to Turoldus no less a wonder than the darkening of the earth at Roland's death. And the author of Beowulf, full of a newly-discovered Christianity, must have believed that the world was full of things passing his understanding. But Homer, whose story makes horses speak and the gods walk on the earth, avoids all traces of miracle in his similes and seems to have lived in a world not unlike our own. He does not, like Shakespeare, create the heroes of his fancy to match the great men around him. For these he seems to have felt more affection than reverence, and he made his ideal world out of the stuff of story and song.

Homer lived in a generation later than the heroic age, but his creative imagination is so powerful that in his company we are normally among the thoughts and actions which belong

____________________
1
A272, E304, M449, Y287.

-234-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Tradition and Design in the Iliad
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • I - Tradition and Design 1
  • II - The Origins of the Epic 27
  • III - The Hexameter 53
  • IV - Some Primitive Elements 67
  • V - Repetitions and Contradictions 87
  • VI - The Similes 114
  • VII - The Language 129
  • VIII - The Historical Background 156
  • IX - The Characters 192
  • XI - Homer and the Heroic Age 234
  • XII - Homer's Time and Place 251
  • Index 275
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 280

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.