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p. 576. A poem about Troylocked

  • Barbara Graziosi

Abstract

The Iliad is not just concerned with Achilles’ destructive anger. Its ancient title promises ‘a poem about Troy’. It focuses on just a small part of the Trojan War—a handful of days, which do not include the fall of the city, or even the death of Achilles. And yet it does manage to become the poem about Troy. ‘A poem about Troy’ explains how the Iliad offers an intense exploration of leadership and its failures, making it a political poem. It also shows how the poem confronts death, killing after killing, victim after victim, bereavement after bereavement, and thus invites a clear-sighted reflection on the value of life.

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