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While it is difficult to identify “message” in classic literature, it can be said that the manner in which Homer tells this historical saga demonstrates to some degree his attitude toward the forces in conflict here. The first “message” to remember is that it is the gods, not humans, who are fighting here, through their human heroes and pawns, and that, while the gods are immune to death and destruction, humans are not. The next important “message” is that our human emotions and desires manifest themselves in very real consequences, despite their abstract beginnings. The attraction between Helen and her Trojan captor, however “romantic” in the abstract, results in such bloody scenes as Hector’s death, and the final ruse of the Trojan horse, however clever, even ingenious of Ulysses, results in the bloody battle, with Homer’s candid descriptions of the deaths of the Trojan royal family. As Homer chose details of his historical story, he seemed to constantly remind the reader of this dichotomy – abstract human “feelings” have very real, physical consequences.
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