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Author Topic: Briseis
Kacie_lala33
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I am afraid that my question might be thought of as a dumb one, but why would that stop me from asking it?

I am currently reading The Shadow of the Hegemon and it is talking a lot about Achilles and Briseis. I know of Achilles and have studied about him in school, but reading about it has made me want to learn more about it all.

My question is if anyone knows any good books that can help me with my interest? Thanks.

<3456 Kacie

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mr_porteiro_head
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The book you want to read is called The Illiad.
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Edgehopper
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Or, OSC would probably advise that you just watch Troy [Smile]
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mr_porteiro_head
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I doubt he would.
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Kacie_lala33
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Yes, I was thinking about watching that. I hope that is good [Big Grin]
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DDDaysh
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Or just a good synopsis on "The Illiad" would probably get you what you want to know. If you do read it, pretty much skip book two!
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brojack17
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quote:
Originally posted by Kacie_lala33:
I am afraid that my question might be thought of as a dumb one, but why would that stop me from asking it?
<3456 Kacie

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people who ask questions!

Don't ever feel bad. This is exactly what this site is for.

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Kacie_lala33
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ha. Yes I have noticed a lot of stupid questions around here [Big Grin] Just playing though..

I am stuck in my house right now because it snowed and the streets are frozen so.. I am thinking about renting Troy ..

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Orson Scott Card
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Edgehopper, I have never regarded that "Troy" was a good substitute for the Iliad. "Troy" tells far more of the story than The Iliad does - since the Iliad doesn't even include the fall of Troy. <grin>

Briseis was a Trojan girl who was taken as spoils of war by Achilles, but then taken by Menelaus for various reasons. Achilles pouts about it (no, Achilles is filled with righteous indignation at the insult to his honor) and this is where The Iliad begins. The Greeks believe they can't win without Achilles. So a war that begins because a Trojan prince seduces a Greek queen and takes her away is nearly lost because one Greek steals a Trojan girl from another Greek.

Women cause SO much trouble.

The movie "Troy" has Briseis falling in love with Achilles. I don't think The Iliad shows any such thing, though memory may be failing me there. (Heck, I've probably got everybody's name wrong. Is Menelaus really spelled Seldon? Who knew?)

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Orson Scott Card
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As for renting "Troy" - I think it's a brilliant, powerful movie, which draws on ALL the Trojan War sources, not just the Iliad, and discards unlikely elements like having the war last a decade (absurd - these people had to make a living).

The real power of the movie is in the brilliant conception of Achilles and the even more brilliant performance by Brad Pitt. Because he's so pretty, people overlook the fact that he's one of our best actors. His leaping style of combat echoes what the sources say about him - never that he's biggest and strongest (that would be Ajax). This may be Pitt's finest performance - in a career full of excellent ones.

And he is photographed so beautifully in the lovemaking scenes that it turned me temporarily gay. Who can even NOTICE the girl in the presence of so much male beauty? <grin>

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striplingrz
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TMI Uncle Orson TMI... LOL
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General Sax
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Leaping in combat seems to be a very Greek Hero thing to do, wasn't the Hero Perseus famous for jumping over a bull?
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Kacie_lala33
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WOW who knew that Orson Scott Card was such Brad Pitt Fan! ha..

So I took everyones advice and watched TROY.I was suprised because so many people have told me it was a horrible movie.. BUT I believe it was WONDERFUL!... and maybe I am little to excited about how good I thought it was.

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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by Orson Scott Card:


And he is photographed so beautifully in the lovemaking scenes that it turned me temporarily gay. Who can even NOTICE the girl in the presence of so much male beauty? <grin>

Quick! Alert Salon.com!
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Brian R
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I noticed her. [Wink]

I agree that the movie was good, a lot better than it's usually given credit for. Definitely worth seeing for its own sake. HOWEVER, if you want to understand Achilles and Briseis in terms of the original Homeric story, it's important to recognize that Pitt's (and the script's) characterization of Achilles is very different from Homer's.

Achilles in the movie is a brooding, tragic figure, a warrior who feels every death he causes and hears them calling to him from the other side of the River Styx. He is honorable, and rebellious against Agamemnon, whose pretensions he sees right through.

Achilles in the Iliad, though, is basically a spoiled brat. He wasn't protecting Briseis the way he did in the movie, he wanted to use her as what he had her for: a sex slave, a captive of the enemy to be exploited and used. Agamemnon wasn't threatening someone Achilles cared for, he was stealing Achilles' property.

The rest of the story is pretty close in the movie to the epic poem,in that Achilles refused to fight as long as Agamemnon kept his girl, and all that brought him out was Patroklos putting on Achilles' armor and getting himself killed by Hector. Only missing detail there is that Patroklus and Achilles were homosexual lovers. So Achilles was angry with Hector as well as Agamemnon for denying him a sex object, although in the case of Patroklus there may have been more affection involved.

It's an interesting subject, covering as it does the assertion of authority and its rejection, selfishness and devotion to one's friends and comrades. One can see the death of Patroklus as punishment of Achilles for his selfish behavior. He refused to fight for his buddies, and so his most important buddy got killed by the second-best fighter on the field (Hector), because the best (Achilles) wasn't there to take him on.

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DDDaysh
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deep Brian, very deep...
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TommySama
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Indeed, Brian. You almost make me want to read it! [Wink]
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Matek
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If anyone is a fan of Ben Bova (or more importantly if you haven't read his work), you could check out the novel Vengeance of Orion. the first half of the story is one of the best retellings of the original story that I have read. Although, since this is the second book in an amazing SF series, you might be inclined to read the first book....well, first. [Smile]
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