Perfidy and Passion: Reintroducing the Iliad

Perfidy and Passion: Reintroducing the Iliad

Author: Mark Buchan (Christ's 1985)

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press

Homer’s Iliad is often considered a poem of blunt truthfulness, his characters’ motivation pleasingly simple. A closer look, however, reveals a complex interplay of characters who engage in an awful lot of lies. Beginning with Achilles, who hatches a secret plot to destroy his own people, Mark Buchan traces motifs of deception and betrayal throughout the poem. Homer’s heroes offer bluster, their passion linked to and explained by their lack of authenticity. Buchan reads Homer’s characters between the lies, showing how the plot is structured individual denial and what cannot be said.

Publication date: 
Monday 15 October 2012

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