The Iliad: Translated by Robert Fagles

The Iliad: Translated by Robert Fagles

Hardcover(Translation by Robert Fagles)

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The Iliad: Translated by Robert Fagles 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Tiger_Holland More than 1 year ago
"Achilles doesn't gladly suffer fools, and Agamemnon's foolishness is shown when he takes away Briseis and rules proudly, claiming war prizes for his own which should, by rights, belong to other men (the slavery issue never gets addressed) but this king of all the Greeks is brought low when Achilles boycotts battle. Since their best and boldest fighter's sitting out, the Greeks are getting hacked to bits by Hector, who's just fighting for his home, but then Zeus speaks, and brings down Trojan doom: they're going to lose. The Greeks march ahead with inexorable forces and Troy buries Hector, the breaker of horses." Here we have the story of the fall of Troy at the hands of the Greeks, though The Iliad actually ends before the fall of Troy, the Trojan Horse comes along in a later book, The Odyssey, and the Greeks are usually called Achaeans or Argives (I think what they're called at any given point has something to do with Homer's metrics and how many syllables his lines needed). The half-god warrior Achilles is the central figure of the story and the action is driven as much by his decisions as it is by the whims of the gods, who take sides in the war and vigorously defend their favorite champions. Achilles meets his opposite in Hector, prince of Troy, who is a family man fighting to defend his own home city, while Achilles is in it for the glory and is fighting for a man he hates. Hector kills Achilles' friend Patroclus, Achilles kills Hector in retaliation, and the war-cycle spirals downward and gets uglier with each passing skirmish. Some themes: Rage: The Iliad is called the epic of menis, rage, the first chapter is titled "The Wrath of Achilles," and the first (and best) line in the whole epic is, "Rage-Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles." This killing-anger isn't something the characters can escape from for any length of time. Rage can be hidden, but it always eventually bursts forth again--Achilles even nurtures the feeling. He's furious and refuses to fight for the Achaeans, and then when they bring him presents to appease him, he ain't want to be appeased! Cooler heads don't seem to prevail, here, and the epidemic of rage ensures that The Iliad is endlessly violent and gory--except for Hector's body, which is preserved from decay by the gods, the other casualties of war either get thrown onto pyres or become food for the vultures. Vengeance. An eye for an eye, ad infinitum. Humans love seeking vengeance, like Achilles avenging Patroclus by killing Hector, but the gods are fond of it, too. The gods are big on damage control--they might not be able to stop you from doing something disastrous, but they'll certainly punish you for it after the fact, like Apollo visiting the Achaeans with a plague after they kidnap Chryseis, the daughter of his priest. Doom. Not just fate, but negative fate. Doom hangs over all of Troy and over most of the Achaens that the reader might actually care about: though Achilles is a killing machine, it's possible to empathize with him, and the propheices make it clear that he's going to die at Troy; Odysseus is going to live through the war, but it'll be another long decade before he gets home; Agamemnon is going to be murdered by his wife's boyfriend when he gets home (but since he's a power-hungry tyrant who killed his own daughter, it's not such a loss), and Menelaus is going to regain Helen and go home, but you can't say they'll live at all h
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far one of the best stories ever told. This translation is outstanding. You get attached to the characters. Alot of the books that are in print today are 'garbage' and should not be confused with 'great literature', such as this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you n eed this...order from somewhere else.  B&N cancelled my order because it is out of stock and didn't notify me.   Website says it  is available and normally ships within 24 hours.  :(  I needed this for school.  Very disappointed in B&N customer service.