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Troy Movie analysis

Posted by DreamSharer on February 19, 2012

In providing beautiful acting and actors, breathtaking scenery, heroic actions and breathtaking costumes, the movie Troy was a Hollywood movie that was certainly a box office hit. I am not sure if you know this but Troy was based on the Iliad an epic by Homer. Aside from the excitement during the movie, unfortunately it proved to be a loose adaptation of Homer’s classic and I could not help but notice the major differences between the book and the movie.

One of the most major differences between the book and the movie was the absence of the Gods in the movie. In Homer’s Iliad, the Gods played a very major part in the Trojan War. Although we, as viewers were aware that the characters believed in the Gods, the only God we actually saw in the movie was Thetis, Achilles’ mother. I understand that the omission of the Gods from the movie might have been due to the reason that the director and writer wanted to give the audience the feeling that the characters are believable, however, in my opinion by omitting the Gods in the movie, the viewer was not able to get the full Greek experience nor the full history of the legendary characters.

Personally, I didn’t think the movie gave enough credit nor background information on Prince Paris and Helen of Sparta. The movie does not let the viewer know that Helen was a reward to Paris for choosing to give a golden apple to the Goddess Aphrodite instead of the Goddess’ Hera or Athena.

Another difference between the Iliad and Troy is that it does not show the history of the contempt that Achilles hold against King Agamemnon. In the Iliad, there was more to Achilles reluctance to fight for the greedy and selfish King. In the book, Agamemnon has stolen Briseis from Achilles and because of this, Achilles shows nothing but contempt for the King. The movie shows the hatred that Achilles carries before the introduction of Briseis.

The character of Prince Paris was made more likeable in the movie. The scene where he fights Melelaus for Helen shows in both the Iliad and in Troy that Paris does not fight to the death. In the Iliad, Homer tells us that Aphrodite rescues Paris in his fight with Melelaus but that is also different in the movie. The Iliad portrays Helen disgusted with Paris after the fight, wishing he had died in the fight, however again that is totally different in the movie. The other difference between the movie and the book is that in the Iliad, Melelaus returns home with Helen.

Hector, in the movie, was portrayed as an honorable and brave man, however, Homer portrays Hector as a cowardly fighter. In the Iliad, Hector goes outside the gates of the city to fight Achilles, but then Hector gets scared and runs away. Also in the book , Hector was convinced by a God who pretended to be his brother to confront Achilles and Achilles killed Hector. After Hector was killed in the book, Achilles tied him to his chariot and dragged his body around Troy for everyone to see then Achilles left Hector’s body for the dogs. In the movie, Achilles was portrayed as a brave and immortal man, He was not portrayed as the barbarian he is in the Iliad.

I have to say that I loved how Achilles and Hector were portrayed in the movie more than the book. In the movie Hector and Achilles were my favorite characters.

In Homer’s Iliad, the story ends with Hector’s burial but in the movie Troy, that was not the case.

Although we see some similarities between the Iliad and Troy, I think the movie made the characters seem less barbaric and some of the sets, especially the city of Troy, seemed different from what Homer described. The movie was enjoyable, but was certainly not a factual representation of Homers classic The Iliad.

Those unfamiliar with the specifics of Homer’s epic The Iliad are a bit luckier than the other people who have read that classic because they will find fewer plot gaps in David Benioff’s condensed Troy movie script. It was definitely a huge and difficult task, trying to compress Homer’s poem into one film. As a result, what Benioff ended up with was a movie that was both too short and too long. There’s just not enough time in a 2 or 3 hour movie to include the Greek and Roman gods featured so prominently in The Iliad.

The problem to empathize or understand fully the conflict is that during Homer’s time, love and the whimsy of the gods would be understood as a just and fair cause for a whole nation to go to war, whereas now this would be laughed at and sneered at by modern society and the modern audience, thus that was enough basis for the writer and the director to remove all interference from divine powers, which was so vital and extremely fundamental in all Greek tales.

With all the above said, the film was done very well given how hard it would be to turn Homer’s classic into a movie.

  1. Antonia Said,

    Hello General Plot Summary of Homer’s Iliad. The Iliad is a lengthy poem of some 15,693 lines, divided into 24 books (cantos) and has as its theme the anger (menis) of the Greek hero Achilles, the greatest of the heroes to sail to Troy. In the tenth year of the war, Achilles quarrels with the leader of the expedition, Agamemnon, over a slight to Achilles’ honor. In his anger, Achilles withdraws from the fighting and wins the aid of Zeus, the king of the gods, to see to it that the war turns against the Greeks. Eventually (Book 9) things begin to go so badly that Agamemnon sends a delegation to Achilles to offer him compensation and ask him to rejoin the fighting. In an effort to make good the slight to Achilles’ honor, Agamemnon promises an immense amount of treasure, but Achilles still refuses to help the Greeks.

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