Guidelines for the Comparative analysis of the movie “Troy” and “The Iliad” Your comparative essay should be typed in single space paragraphing (font 12 Times New Roman) and it should be at least 500 words. (I will use the “word count” feature in Microsoft Word to check the number of words. ) Try not to exceed 1000 words at most. Your essay should be the result of your own contemplations, observations and conclusions. You can read other sources for this assignment but you should not copy at any form or to any degree the sources you have read.
You can just use the ideas gained through sources in your own words. If you do so, however, you should definitely cite the references to your sources. In case you use a source and forget to cite it or even worse if you copy from a source the score for your paper will be zero. So please beware of intentional or unintentaional plagiarism. In writing up the paper first watch the movie completely and if needed take notes. (The DVD of the movie is provided to you. )Then, compare what you have seen with what you have read and try to find out the reasons for the differences.
The followinig notes may help you: ?Note the changes in value systems in the past and present ?Note the reasons for the changes and modifications that have taken place in the creation of the movie. (including commercial, political, values, …) ?Focus on justification premises for the atrocities and savagery that is depicted as valor and courage in the Iliad. ?Explore the contributions (messages) that the two works make to human culture in their own context.
Iliad vs. Troy Movie. Neither Athena with her matchless wisdom, nor Apollo with his talent of prophecy, could foretell that someday Prometheus’s fragile creature, human, would become rude in a scale that not only would turn his back to the gods, but also would distort their presence and effects in the human history. “Briseis: Well, then your men did. The sun god will have his vengeance. Achilles: What’s he waiting for? Briseis: The right time to strike. Achilles: His priests are dead, and his acolyte’s a captive.
I think your god is afraid of me? Briseis: Afraid? Apollo is master of the sun, he fears nothing. Achilles: Where is he? ”(Troy) The movie “Troy”, which is an adaptation of Homer’s Iliad, is an obvious twist of it, both historically and literarily. There are numerous differences between them that can be observed and revealed. Here, I am going to highlight some of inordinate modifications of Homer’s Iliad in Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy; and, then, try to go beyond the surface to discover the reasons for such changes.
The movie duration is about 163 minutes; and it takes 50 minutes to reach to the starting point of the Iliad. Although there are, also, several rotations of the classical myths events in the first 50 minutes that even an amateur classic mythology reader can remark it fallacies, I will not enter that domain. I will just refer to the changes that are in contrary with the Iliad and can be retrieved by the information that Homer presents. For instance, in the Iliad we see that it was Paris’s doom to go to Sparta and fall in love with Helen.
But the movie gives no account for the background of the story and the destination’s role. Another incident which is not mentioned in the Iliad is Achilles’s rapid action to siege the beach of Troy and invading Apollo’s temple. The major modification of the Iliad is the absence of Gods in the movie. There is no information about them but some names that elder characters mention and some statues. The only Goddess that we can see in the movie is Thetis, Achilles’s mother, who is a nymph according to the Iliad, half human, half fish.
But the director of the movie does not want to put emphasis on the divinity part and although Achilles meets her in the water, picturing her fish part is cleverly avoided by the director. Apollo in the movie is just a wretched God who is not able to avenge the offence that Myrmidons have done to him. In the minute 42 of the story, Achilles beheads Apollo’s statue. While in the Iliad, Achilles respects Gods and makes sacrifices for them. In another scene, in the minute 29, while Hector is urging Priam, his father, to return Helen to Sparta to avoid a war, Priam tells him not to worry because, “Apollo watches over us.
Even Agamemnon is no match for the Gods. ”(Troy) But Hector replies, “And how many battalions does the Sun God command? ”(Troy) This is not the only place in the movie that Hector, who is protected and respected by gods in the Iliad and highly believes in them, mocks the gods. It happens again in minute 54 of the movie when the high priest announces that two farmers have seen an eagle with a serpent in its talons, a good sign from Apollo. Hector mocks the priest and saying, “you want to plan a strategy based on bird signs? He concludes from Apollo’s inability to take vengeance on Achilles for insulting his statue and says, “The gods won’t fight this war for us” (Troy). The whole story is in contrary with the Iliad, because it is indicated that the Trojans see that sign while trying to push back the Achaean host to their ships, and predict it as a bad omen from Zeus who is the owner of the eagle, though. Moreover, in the Iliad, it is gods’ war more than human’s. It seems that there is an intention beyond these manners of mocking gods by two of the best characters who the audience would love best and sympathize with.
First assumption would be that the director of the movie wanted to make a realistic shot of the Iliad. But, after deepening in the story, another assumption may be that the director does not believe in God’s or divinity at all and try to inject his view through his best characters and he is doing this cleverly. Almost in the first scene that we see Achilles, when the messenger boy asks if the stories about him is true and if he cannot be killed, Achilles responds, “I wouldn’t be bothering with the shield then, would I? (Troy) a very logical and clever way to wipe out tendencies of believing in divinity from audiences mind in the beginning of the story and to appeal the skeptic generation of 21st century! Another major difference between Iliad and the movie is again in the process of adaptation of the Iliad according to the appetite of the audience. Every Iliad reader can understand in a glance that the honor codes and bravery values of those days is in contrary with todays. The most devouring and slaughtering characters were the most praised heroes of the Iliad.
Achilles, Hector, Ajax and Diomede were a few samples of ancient world heroes. But, is it possible to picture those animalistic brutalities within Iliad these days and expect to attract people to pay for watching it? Of course not! Instead, we need to show a sentimental view of our heroes, heroes who despise war; heroes who are sorry for killing people. For instance, Hector while returning from Sparta provokes Paris who wants to fight with Menelaus and says that, “there is nothing glorious about it, nothing poetic” (Troy).
But it is indeed glorious in the Iliad to fight. In fact Homer calls Hector the pair of bloodthirsty Mars as an honor. On the other hand, we need a kind, loving and caring Achilles with a masculine attractive figure to attract more audience. What about softening the violence with some romance scenes to guarantee our investment, no matter what was the story and what was the truth. So, let’s dismiss Diomede who is a brutal killer, kill Ajax and Menelaus at the beginning, and omit Aeneas and so many other valiant heroes to make the story more appealing and brief.
But, let’s picture Agamemnon as he was to make people despise him. So tricky! Simply put, it seems that cinematographs own a mightier weapon that Zeus’s thunder bolt and Poseidon’s trident by which have sent myth gods and their offspring to the underworld. But, what if someday, they claim war against Semitic or early religions’ God? What if they twist the reality and feed that in a colorful tempting way to the people? (As Islamic Republic of Iran does it in regard to Baha’i faith). Do the audiences of those movies would accept what is being presented or investigate after the truth?
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