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A Comparison between the Poetry of Homer and Ovid


The comparison of these battles will give s a better understanding of these poets different views on the Trojan War. This battle also takes place outside the city of Troy, at the beginning of the Trojan War, nine years previous to Achilles’ battle with Hector. Rumor, the god rumor, told the Trojan that a fleet with a Greek army on board was approaching. The Greek fleet was approaching because Paris, son of King Prima of Troy, had gone to bring back Helen, the wife of King Menelaus of Sparta.

After the fight began and blood had been shed everywhere, Cygnus and Achilles had gone on killing massive amounts of enemy soldiers. As best warriors of each respective army, they went to battle themselves. After Achilles hits him with a spear that merely bounces off of his chest, Cygnus tells Achilles that he is the son of Neptune and that he therefore has impenetrable skin. They each continued to throw spears with Cygnus continuing to deflect throws off of his body while all he could do is hit Achilles’ shield.

Achilles’ temporarily gives up, and questions whether it may be an issue with his weapon or throwing arm. He soon discovers it is neither after impaling Mentees with his spear. Achilles aims once more at Cygnus, again hitting him without leaving as little s a scratch. At this point Achilles’ comes to an understanding that he will not be able to pierce his skin to kill him, and therefore must chase him down, bludgeon and strangle him. Then, Achilles’ makes a move at him hitting him the blunt of his sword, pushes him to the ground with his shield and proceeds to strangle him.

Upon checking the body after the choking, Achilles’ sees that the armor was empty. This was due to the fact that Neptune had changed his son’s body to that of a swan. Now that I have given a rough setting for book 12 of Metamorphoses, I will give a brief aground of the battle with Hector. Achilles’ battle with Hector in book 22 of Iliad begins outside of the walls of the city of Troy at the end of the Trojan War. Hector was the last of the Trogon’s outside of the walls, ignoring his father King Prism’s pleads for him to get back to safety inside of the walls of the city.

However, Hector believes he must fight for his honor and believes it is more honorable to die as one fighting to defend his city rather than dying an old man. At this same time moment, Achilles is going on a killing spree, because he believes glory is found in the size of he amount of Trojan he kills. This leads to Achilles chasing who he believes is a Trojan, Agenda, but in reality is the god Apollo distracting Achilles. Apollo is acting as a Trojan in order to divert Achilles from his killing of Trojan to save Trojan lives.

Achilles’ anger is heightened due to the trick, and is now even more dangerous to Hector. After realizing that Achilles’ anger meant there was no chance of negotiation, Hector chose to run. After three laps around the walls of the city, Zeus began to pity Hector but was dissuaded by Athena who informed him that it was Hectors fate to ii. To hurry the process, Athena disguises herself as Dubious and according to Homer she says to him, “My brother, swift Achilles is really harassing you, with his fast running around Prism’s city in this pursuit. Come, we’ll both stand here, stay put, and beat off his attack. Hector is persuaded by who he believed to his brother, but when he turned to face Achilles’ he found no one on his side and knew he had been duped by the gods and his fate was sealed. They each threw their spears at each other, doing no damage. However, Achilles’ spear was retrieved and returned by Athena. When Hector and Achilles’ charged, Achilles’ was able to easily stab Hector in the weak spot of his armor at his neck. The Achaeans proceeded to stab Hectors lifeless body and then tie his body to the back of Achilles’ chariot dragging his body across the battle field.

The easiest initial similarity and difference is with the setting, both occur at during the Trojan War but as noted by Ovid as Achilles was searching for either Hector or Cygnus, “he lighted on Cyan (his duel with Hector was not to take place for another nine years). ” The battle with Cygnus occurred near the very ginning of the war whereas the battle with Hector occurred near the end. Although the battle with Cygnus occurred earlier in the timeline, Ovid actually wrote it after, as a pre-emotive retelling of the story of the Trojan War. Another comparison that can be drawn is who Achilles is battling with.

Although Hector is the greatest of Trojan soldiers at the time, it is obvious that Hector has not yet accepted his death and still feared it. Because of this, Hector runs from Achilles and when caught, tried to plead with Achilles to no prevail. Achilles had no fear and was fighting for glory; e knew that dying in war after being a great soldier would leave glory to his name. Achilles shows this by claiming, “As for my fate, I’ll accept it whenever Zeus sends it to me. ” when replying to Hectors last second beg for survival saying the gods will know of Hectors death.

In Ovoid’s telling, Achilles battled an opponent who appeared to be much more courageous, in Cygnus. After Achilles shouted at Cygnus that it was his time to die, Cygnus stood tall and took spears off the body. However, once Achilles charged at Cygnus he also proceeded to run from the fight. Another similarity between the two poems is the intervention of Gods. In Iliad, Athena and Zeus help in the death of Hector. Although Zeus initially looked to help Hector, Athena convinced him not to and went on to trick Hector into facing Achilles in battle.

In Metamorphoses, the god Rumor helped the Trojan by informing them of the oncoming fleet of Greek ships. In doing so, it gave the Trojan an opportunity to prepare for the battle. Although these are both godly interventions, they have their different reasons for their involvement. Zeus and Athena did so in order to speed up fate, whereas Rumor did so because he is the god of rumor and therefore felt it was is duty. Another interference from a god was when Neptune changed the dead body of his son Cygnus into the form of a swan.

In doing so, Neptune stopped the opportunity for Achilles to defile his body. This brings about a new contrast between the two battles. Upon killing Hector, Achilles and his men continuously stabbed his body, and tied in on the back of Achilles’ chariot. This is a much different ending for the death of Achilles’ foe then it was in Ovoid’s poem. A potential cause of this drastic difference in the stories is that Ovid was known as a poet whose stories were armorial based on love stories and he therefore may not have wanted as gruesome a death.

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