Memorialization Of The Trojan War In Homer's The Illiad

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Poetry and thought are often interpreted as too lofty for the realm of politics, a realm dominated power (Berlin: 2004). Yet memory, as elaborated by poets should always be an exercise in education. The value of narrative, writing, and poetry is high. For ‘the very fact that so great of an enterprise as the Trojan War could have been forgotten without a poet to immortalize it several hundred years later offered only too good an example of what could happen to human greatness if it had nothing but poets to rely on for its permanence’ (Arendt, 1958: 197). In The Republic, Plato called homer ‘the educator of Hellas’, for immortalizing the events of the Trojan War, although Socrates is skeptical of the legacy of his work. Homer’s memorialization of the Trojan War in his work The Illiad is not to memorialize the good deeds of actors, but to educate the reader one way of life which he would have no other way to know about. The work of memorialization serves not only the purpose of producing deeds to be emulated, but also rejected. Thus, memorialisation in the polis encourages the engagement of citizens through the exercise of interpretation which encourages thought. By allowing any person to become that narrator of a story, the polis encourages reflection upon a given subject, through the sharing of words and …show more content…
Poetry becomes an asset for the exercise in memory, for deeds, when reified into narrative can outlast the limited lifespan of human beings – for example, to break the cycle of war, or understanding the true purpose of revolutionary

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