Discuss significant epic conventions that are found in the Iliad.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Homer's work embodies several conventions or elements of the epic poem.  On one hand, the oral recitation element is of vital importance to the epic poem, and something that Homer's work embodies.  The work is meant to be read aloud, even from its opening words calling to "Sing" to the "Goddess."  This is also a representation of an epic conventions in the muse invocation to commence the work. Additionally, the setting of the work is the in the midst of the Trojan War.  The War has been raging for some time in the Homeric work, fulfilling the convention of the epic as being taken place in media res.  The setting of the Homeric work as being taken place all over the vast settings where the battles take place, vast fields where Achilles, Hector, and Agamemnon must wage war.  Probably one of the most representative elements of the epic poem is the use of the heroes in the narrative.  Achilles and Hector lead the many heroic characters in Homer's work.  Finally, I think that the presence of the Gods and Goddesses in Greek belief is significant in enabling Homer's work to embody a characteristic of the epic poem.  The divine are seen as constantly intervening on behalf of or against the mortals, helping to make the work one of epic proportions and conventions.


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