Understanding the Iliad
Although the Iliad has a history dating back more than three thousand years, it remains a riveting and insightful study of universal themes relating to the human condition. This study focuses on three interconnecting subjects: the relationship of human beings to the external forces-the gods-which are operative in the universe; the concept of heroism in war and beyond war which fulfills the human aspiration for meaning in existence; and the process of emotional, intellectual, and psychological evolution by which the poem's hero, Achilles, evolves from a state of narcissistic indifference to the fate of other human beings to the capacity to demonstrate compassion to those who have been his most hated enemies.
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