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The Trojan War is one of the most legendary events in the history of mankind. The Trojan War is a war of the Achaeans against Troy at the end of the XIII century BC. The first source is The Iliad and The Odyssey, in which Homer tells of the Trojan War. It was considered a myth for many years, but after Heinrich Schliemann dug up Troy, the event took on completely historical outline. It is immersed in the fog of the past, at least three millennia separates it from our time. Every educated person heard of such heroes of the Trojan War as Achilles, Ulysses, Hector, Agamemnon, Priam, Aeneas, Paris, and others, as well as the beautiful legend of the Trojan horse and the abduction of Queen Helena. However, many of the facts are vague and it is difficult to remember the full picture of the Trojan War.
The ancient Greeks believed in the absolute reality of Troy. It became the most vivid recollection of this era largely due to the genius of Homer, his admirers and imitators. The Trojan War is a disguised struggle of the colonizers with the residents of the north-western Asia Minor. Homer used the past as a history constructing his plot. On close acquaintance with Homer, there are obvious contradictions and elements of myth not in the Trojan legend, but in the poem The Odyssey.
War is an integral part of the world of Homer's poems. Not only The Iliad, the story is inseparably connected with the Trojan War, but The Odyssey is dedicated to the travelling and history of the war. It is known that only on the tenth year of war Troy was taken by the Achaeans, it is writtenin The Odyssey. It was taken not in a fair fight, not by boldness and courage Achaean heroes, not by the strength of their armies, and even starvation. Troy was taken by stealth, cunning deception. All heroes of Homer have special personal features that unusually glorify them. It is not only the physical beauty and perfection, but spiritual beauty. Odysseus’s military cunning, the ability to find a way out of the difficult situation has helped Greeks in the siege of Troy, on the advice of Odysseus a wooden horse was built. This helped to capture the city.
Having returned home, the heroes Nestor and King Menelaus told about Odysseus’s ruse and about the last days of Troy. The blind singer Demodocus sang songs praising clever King Odysseus, expounding the history of construction of a huge wooden horse inside of which the bravest Achaeans were hidden. At night, when the Trojans dragged the monster horse inside the walls, the Achaean warriors came out of the womb of the horse, captured and destroyed the "sacred" Troy. It is known that the ancient Greeks have apocryphal poems, detailing the further developments of the Trojan War. There was told about the death of the valiant Achilles, who was killed by boom of Paris, about the perpetrator of the Trojan War and the fatal construction for Trojans:
Odysseus sits on the feast, but a wise blind singer Demodocus entertains revelers singing. "Sing about the Trojan War" - asks Odysseus, and Demodocus sings about the wooden horse and the capture of Troy. Odysseus crys. "Why are you crying? - Said Alcinous. - Gods send death to the heroes and their descendants glorify singing about them. That's right, have someone close fallen under Troy? "And then Odysseus says:" I - Odysseus, son of Laertes, king of Ithaca, a small, rocky, but dear to ... "- and begins the story of his wanderings (Odyssey).
One day they'd enjoyed their hearts with food and drink, the minstrel was inspired by the Muse to sing a song about the glorious deeds of warriors; that tale whose fame had climbed to spacious heaven, about Odysseus and Achilles, son of Peleus; and about their ferocious argument at a lavish feast in honour of the gods.
Homer describes events after the destruction of Troy in The Odyssey. All heroes have returned home except Odysseus, a king of the island Ithaca. He has travelled for ten years because Poseidon hated him. Homer wrote such lines about Odysseus:
Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities did he visit, and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was acquainted; moreover he suffered much by sea while trying to save his own life and bring his men safely home (Odyssey).
Homer mentions the fate of the other heroes only a little as he dedicated another poem for them. Greek hero Odysseus is a brave warrior. He participates in all the battles. This is a great example for all the people in the understanding of ancient Greeks. All Homer's heroes always have the best qualities of national character. Odysseus is known for his ability to outwit the enemy.
Odysseus’s wife suffered greatly from the war because all the heroes had already come back home and her husband was not with her. Homer gives examples of the ambiguity of constructing the image of Penelope, which can not be satisfactorily explained on the basis of the material only by the work itself. A number of lines in The Odyssey show contrary to affirmed image of loyal and suffering heroine who desires to reorganize her life. This idea seems not absurd, not only to the grooms or to her son, and to Athena, "Mothers, if her heart does not want the marriage, you have proposed that the father returned to the house, where, having prepared everything needed for marriage, dowry-rich sweet daughter fitting that her dignity, put on it” ( Odyssey). Telemachus, in contrast to other characters of Homer who never question their relationship, when he was asked whose son he is, he answers, “My mother, tells me I am son to Ulysses, but it is a wise child that knows his own father” (Odyssey). Penelope's faithfulness is not marked and praised, Homer does not oppose her to the unfaithful wives. Penelope is a kind woman with a loving heart: Make up your mind to it and bear it; Ulysses is not the only man who never came back from Troy.(Odyssey) All the historical events are passing through all the poem, even Penelope reminded everyone about the Trojan War.
The author says that The Odyssey is a poem of slyness. The main heroine is a kind of feminine, "weak" version of Odysseus. But Ulysses is cunning, resourcefulness and has ability to master the circumstances, and the actions of his wife are in vain. The author traces the echoes of the legend, in which slyness and experiences are devised by Penelope, and are justified by the logic of the narrative. To create such a poem Homer decided to hide active traits of character of Penelope in order to emphasize these qualities in the central character (Woodhouse 123).
Interesting features of the Homeric ideas about the relationship of the leader and his warriors are seen in the description of the wanderings of Odysseus. The warriors are not placed under the cunning King of Ithaca (Odyssey). Blithely feasting at the walls of the ruined city, Odysseus’s companions had got into cruel calamity. Odysseus gathered his troops for the council of war (Odyssey). "Friends and comrades," as in the descriptions of the Achaean coalition meetings, were no more than a passive crowd. But among them was the "rebellious" Evriloh, the closest relative of Odysseus (Odyssey), accusing the leader in the death of a partners, and encouraged others to disobey (Odyssey). Outraged Odysseus was ready to kill an "insolent." The troops, however, followed the leader and lagging the "audacious" Evriloh behind (Odyssey). Not all conflicts were resolved as well. Tireless Evriloh opposed again. This time all the "comrades" agreed with him and Odysseus was forced to accept that (Odyssey). The relationship between "good and fair" leader and his "friends" was not idyllic. Small force was torn by the same contradictions as the Achaean coalition at Troy.
Thus, Homeric epic is a major source, which reflects historical life during and after the Trojan War. Historical material has elements dating back to the Mycenaean era and to Troy. The complexity of the Homeric "pictures of war" is due to the historical complexity of the Homeric period.