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Epic Similes in the Iliad
Transcript of Epic Similes in the Iliad
Book 4 (Line 86) Athena Rocketing to Earth
Book 13 (Line 185) Imbrius Falls at the Hand of Teucer
He fell as an ash tree falls, a tree
That is a landmark on a mountain crest,
And when it is cut through with bronze axes,
It brings its soft leafage down to the ground.
Book 11 (Line 290) Agamemnon Wounded and the Pain sets in
As if he were a woman in labor
Struggling with the stabbing pain
Hera’s daughters dispense
When they preside at a childbirth
Book 3 (Line 5) Comparing the two armies as they move to battle
Like cranes beating their metallic wings
In the stormy sky at winter’s onset,
Unspeakable rain at their backs, their necks stretched
Toward Oceanic streams and down
To strafe the brown Pygmy race,
Bringing strife and bloodshed from the sky at dawn.
Like a star that the son of devious Cronus
Sends as a portent to sailors, or to an army
Camped on a wide plain, a brilliant meteor
That sheds sparks all along its shining furrow
This truly shows the beauty of the goddess, and her ability to awe mortals with her supernatural power. Her entrance to the battlefield symbolizes an omen to the two armies, though different men have separate ideas of the omens meaning. Some of the men think that it was an omen that peace was coming, while others were gearing up for more war.
This simile embodies the warrior Imbrius, pegging him as an ash tree falling. This symbolizes Imbrius as a large man, strong in nature and as a landmark in his army. The mention of the soft leafage falling to the ground is a reference to the ending of the mans life as his head reaches the earth.
The wounding of Agamemnon resembles the same pain as childbirth, piercing the hero with great pain as his wound dries. The mention of the daughters of Hera is a reference to them being present at a child's birth, giving out this awful pain.
This simile sybolises the Greek army as they move to battle. Moving loudly, batting their weapons on their shields while they movie forward through the rain between the rivers that surround Troy.