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Did Homer's birthplace around Asia Minor have an impact on his portrayal of the...

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Hectavion | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 17, 2013 at 2:57 AM via web

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Did Homer's birthplace around Asia Minor have an impact on his portrayal of the Trojans, so that we are made to feel sympathetic for the Trojans' plight? 

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 17, 2013 at 4:54 PM (Answer #1)

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First, this kind of biographical approach to criticism is outdated, having decades ago been replaced by New (Chicago) Criticism and since then by Postmodern criticism, in which the author’s intentions are disregarded entirely.  Second, Homer had many stronger loyalties than to his general birthplace.  Third, a strong argument that “the Iliad favors the Trojans” has never been accepted – in fact, Homer’s neutrality and even-handedness is one of his merits as a story-teller.  Finally, the story of the Greeks, Trojans, Helen, Paris, etc. was not invented by Homer – merely related, as an elaborated history of real events.  So, your premise seems very weak. In short, the text does not encourage your interpretation.

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