What relevance does the Iliad have in modern times?

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First of all, The Iliad is extremely important as a historical document and a lens through which we can examine the ancient past. Through this epic, we can gain insights into the religious life of the Ancient Greeks, as well as ancient warfare and culture. On these grounds alone, it is a profoundly important piece of our cultural heritage.

Even beyond this, however, The Iliad stands as a deeply influential and powerful work of literature. It contains themes on military glory (as well as on the costs of war) as well as striking depictions of pride and arrogance (notably expressed in the conflict between Agamemnon and Achilles, both of whom are driven by pride and ego). One sees the interplay of vividly rendered personalities, both mortal and immortal, and the ways in which humans and gods ultimately shape and influence one another (consider the ways in which the Trojan War causes turmoil and division among the gods, many of whom themselves hold a stake in that conflict). As a poem, The Iliad is...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 12, 2020
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