IN any just perspective of European poetry, the resemblance between the Iliad and the Odyssey must always, of course, be far more striking than the difference. Both present ideal human types, both blend divine and human action, both unite plain thought, plain style, nobleness, and rapidity, in a manner which broadly separates them from all other compositions. To those who regard the epics from a little distance, and not from those closer points of view which have been gained by modern criticism, it will not appear astonishing that this common Homeric character should even have been regarded as showing the work of one mind; for undoubtedly the stamp of mind seen in both epics is one which has no comparable record in any third poem that could be named.
Nevertheless, the differences between the Iliad and the Odyssey, which every reader feels, require to be expressly noted. If we omit to do so, we shall not adequately appreciate the range of power which marked this early age of Greek poetry.
Differences between the Iliad and the Odyssey.
The material of the Iliad is furnished chiefly by warfare or debate. These interests are not wholly absent from the Odyssey, but they hold