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The Works of Homer

There are few poetic titles attributed to Homer due to speculation of multiple authorship and origin. Because of this, the acceptance to literature of his Iliad and Odyssey became extraordinary and historic. The Iliad and the Odyssey are both epic poems arguably created in the ancient Greek. They are also claimed as the first literary works in the Greek language which in turn installed them to be recognized as the oldest literature in Europe. Both are written in largely dactylic hexameter, a form of quantitative approach in poetry.

Although the Homer used hexameter, he did so with inclusion of personal judgment to combine the technical aspect of arranging words and natural aspect of articulating them. Interesting features of Homer’s works are plenty. The two works are complementary to each other requiring the reader to explore both. Iliad introduced the Trojan War while Odyssey extended the story to include the prime hero of the war which is Odysseus. For first-time readers, challenges are expected to occur in resolving context of geography and history.

It is supported that the characters, places and events in the compositions are historically relevant. For example, Iliad represented realities of the Late Bronze Age and Dark Ages. Art is a very significant element of culture at the time when they are written. As a result, artifacts such as vases and amphora mentioned in both works are exhibited in contemporary museums. Due to substantial consistency of Homer’s works to reality, readers would not only be entertained to poetry but also would grasp on civilization and history.

Moral lessons also abound which includes the significance and implications of warfare, characteristics of a hero, relations of humans and gods, interaction of society and individual, importance of voyages and fate. Finally, the two works can impose curiosity to readers upon direct comparison to characters, plot, writing style, timeline, geography, relationships and the like. The Works of Ovid Being one of the three great poets of the Latin literature, Ovid heavily influenced Western literature. The range of his contribution in shaping European literature is argued to exceed Homer because he instilled and emphasized quality to work.

And although Virgil is the greatest Roman poet, Ovid is more popular. Compared to Homer, there are more works existed in favor of Ovid’s authorship. His style is largely defined by elegiac couplets which use lyrics to introduce themes that epic poetry rarely applies. Interesting feature of Ovid’s works is metamorphosis which is evident in his narrative poem Metamorphoses. As Homer progresses to the story by following a central hero as in Odyssey, Metamorphoses is applied with arbitrary transformation requiring leaps from one story to another with minimal link. Known as the Master of Love, Ovid uses love as the binding theme.

For example, in Metamorphoses, the lack of love by other gods compared to Cupid makes the latter more capable and guile even if he is merely a minor god. In his first completed work, Amores, Ovid’s interest in writing mock-epic is observed. For example, for some characters, they mourn erotically despite disloyalty to one another. It is applied with humor to the point of absurdity to interaction of people. The plot of the story is interesting in the sense that the main character is a poet, who may be representing Ovid, who is seeking a romantic affair with a lady.

Ovid’s several works like Ars Amatoria are written to mock leadership. The Roman emperor, Augustus, is upset with this causing Ovid’s deportation. Mythology and relationships with the opposite sex are the common motivation of Ovid’s composition. He offers answers on how to maintain relationships with humans and gods in the society. With regards to style, readers will find Ovid’s work to be dynamic and incoherent but full of energy and love themes.


Powell, B. & Morris, I. (1997) (ed. ). A New Companion to Homer. Leiden. Keith, A. (1992). The Play of Fictions: Studies in Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book 2. Ann Arbor.

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