Iliad Metamorphoses Book 5 Ceres Proserpina . You Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Literature Type: Essay Paper: #30422765 Related Topics: Ovid, Book Of Acts, Book, Novel
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Iliad Metamorphoses book 5 [Ceres Proserpina]. You compare contrast characters [prima Iliad Jupiter]

Contrasting and comparing:

Homer's Iliad with Ovid's Metamorphoses V

The story of Homer's Iliad is considered to be the paradigmatic tale of heroic excellence. Despite the fact that the Trojans and the Greeks are pitted against one another in a futile struggle for a beautiful, faithless woman, on many occasions both show valor towards one another. However, they can also be quite petty. Agamemnon takes Achilles concubine away from him when he loses his own and Achilles pulls out of the flight because of this stain upon his honor, thus condemning the Greeks until he returns again to avenge his friend Patroclus' death at the hands of the great warrior Hector.

Book V of Ovid's Metamorphoses also features a heroic fight between Perseus and Phineus, the former suitor of his wife Andromeda. But rather than heroism, the fight is portrayed as a clumsy, bloody affair without a trace of heroism. Instead of the steadfast prowess of the Greeks and Trojans, both Perseus and Phineus are clumsy, inexpert fighters. The few accurate blows that are thrown during the fight occur by accident rather than because of any individual warrior's strength. In the Iliad, although the gods do intervene and affect the fighting from time to time, it is clear that the soldiers are at least competent at their tasks for the most part. But Perseus is only able to win by a trick: he transforms Phineus' men into stone with the head of the Gorgon. He also acts unheroically as a warrior when Phineus begs for his life, stating: "Have no fear, most cowardly Phineus, I will grant both what I can grant, and what is a great gift to the fearful! You will not suffer the sword. Rather I will cause you to be an enduring monument through...


Achilles has special armor which he permits his beloved Patroclus to wear, which was designed by the gods at the request of Achilles' mother to protect her son. Achilles acts against the heroic code when he does not permit Hector's father Priam to bury his son's body and drags the body behind his chariot. However, Achilles does not act out of fear like Ovid's Perseus. In fact, he knows that his death is likely to follow that of Hector's and he brings it on by killing Troy's greatest warrior. Out of love and because he is grief-stricken, Achilles acts from his basest emotions. Yet Achilles, because he is the greatest of warriors, can also be moved. When Priam comes to Achilles' tent to beg for his son's body, Achilles relents out of compassion. Perseus shows no compassion to the terrified, disarmed Phineus.

In the Iliad, the true strength of the warriors is far greater than in Ovid, and not simply because the Iliad's heroes are not forced to constantly shape-shift from human to non-human status. The authority figures of the Iliad like Priam do not seem weaker because although they are all too human they can show great moral authority. In the Metamorphoses, characters change externally. Phineus is transformed into stone and the…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Homer. The Iliad. E-text available:

Ovid. The Metamorphoses. Book V.

Cite this Document:

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