IntroductionWho is Homer? To this day, there is continuing debate over whether or not the ancient poet actually existed. And if he did, there are serious doubts about his authorship. Some contend that there is artistic unity within each of his epic poems, yet others believe the works to be the effort of multiple contributors. The style of the poetry has its roots in oral tradition, and some liken Homer’s writings to the Sanskrit epic The Mahabharata, a poetic work that was edited, expanded, and rewritten by many hands over its lengthy history. Although these issues of authorship can never be resolved conclusively, the man known as Homer—whether fiction, legend, or flesh-and-blood poet—is still revered for his epic and highly influential works, The Iliad and The Odyssey.
- Although there are multiple accounts of Homer’s origins and life, scholars have been unable to validate the historical accuracy of any of them.
- Homer’s reputation in the classical period reached its apex when a religious following of the poet emerged. These followers believed Homer to have been divinely inspired in his writing.
- For many centuries, Homer’s work remained somewhat obscure. It was only during the neoclassical movement of the Renaissance that his writing regained prominence.
- The Trojan War, which provides the basis for The Iliad, may not have happened. While it is probably based on an actual war, many believe Homer’s account of it to be a fictionalization.
- The Coen Brother’s 2000 film, O Brother, Where Art Thou, is a retelling of Homer’s The Odyssey set in 1930s America.
- Critical Survey of Short Fiction
- Homer - Critical Survey of Poetry
- Iliad - Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism
- Iliad - Literary Characters
- Iliad - Literary Places
- Odyssey - Literary Places
- Iliad - Masterplots
- Odyssey - Masterplots
- The Iliad Study Guide (eNotes)
- The Odyssey Study Guide (eNotes)
Did this raise a question for you?