Tag Archives: Iliad

To Avoid War, Look to The Iliad

As we once again hear war’s drum beat, it’s good to return to “The Iliad” and its vision of peace: the Achilles-Priam truce.

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Homer, Anti-War Poet

Tuesday One of my most satisfying reads in recent years is Caroline Alexander’s The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer’s Iliad and The Trojan War. Alexander is the kind of writer that I aspire to be: an academic who taps into the meticulous research of other scholars to write for a popular […]

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Amazon Fires and the Fury of Achilles

Monday Few news items have alarmed and depressed me as much as the burning of the Amazon rain forests, often called the “lungs of the world.” As National Geographic reports The Amazon rainforest—home to one in 10 species on Earth—is on fire. As of last week, 9,000 wildfires were raging simultaneously across the vast rainforest […]

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Through Lit, We Learn Compassion

Tuesday My brother Sam, an enthusiastic Unitarian Universalist, gave me Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life for Christmas, and I was pleased that the author sees literature playing a major role. In today’s post I share how she draws on the ancient Greeks. Armstrong writes, “All faiths insist that compassion is the test […]

Posted in Aeschylus, Euripides, Homer, Sophocles, Wordsworth (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anger in Ancient Greek Works

A new book looks at how the ancient Greeks approached the issue of anger in works such as “Iliad,” “Ajax,” and “Hecuba.

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Great Pro-War Literature Doesn’t Exist

In which I argue that great pro-war literature doesn’t exist, including “The iliad” and “War and Peace.” (Both works are magnificent; I just don’t see them as pro-war.)

Posted in Homer, Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Tolstoy (Leo) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Liberal Arts Will Not Die

Thursday My colleague Jeff Hammond, a national authority on Puritan poetry and a much lauded writer of reflective essays, recently gave a stirring defense of the liberal arts for our parents-alumni weekend. Jeff’s observations dovetail very nicely with Percy Shelley’s Defence of Poetry, which I happen to be teaching at the moment. Watching poetry getting […]

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On Broken Ceasefires, in Homer & in Syria

The horrific bombing of a 31-truck aid convoy brought an end to the painstakingly negotiated ceasefire between Russian and the United States in Syria. The incident resembled how Hera and Athena break up the truce that the Greeks and Trojans are trying to negotiate in “The Iliad.”

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Lily, Achilles, Bertha & Ishmael on Vacation

Lily Bart, Bertha Mason, Achilles, Ishmael and Queequeg all go on vacation. Where do they go?

Posted in Bronte (Charlotte), Homer, Melville (Herman) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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