A. the author
Tha author of this book is Colleen McCullough. The book was published in London in 1998. Other books by this author are: Caesar, The Thorn Birds and Caesar’s women. The author does not belong to a certain literary movement.
B. the contents
The main themes of the book are love, hatred, ambition, delusion and honour.
Love: Helen and Paris, the two lovers who doomed 2 graet nations to a terrible war.
Hatred: The hate between The Trojan and the Greek.
Ambition: Achilles, one of the main characters, gets murdered because of his ambition. He choses to die young and famous instead of old and unknown.
Delusion: The Greek win thanks to all the tricks of Odysseus.
Honour: Agamemnon, another main character, consents to terrible things to maintain his honour.
The book is about the Trojan War. It describes every event that is related to this war.
It all begins with Helen leaving Greece with Paris. Menelaos, her husband, asks his brother
Agamemnon, High King, for an army to go and get her back. Agamemnon consents, but not because
of Helen, but because he wants to rule the Hellespont, which is now ruled by the Trojan.
When they want to leave for Troie the weather stops them. To get Zeus’ permisson to leave
Agamemnon orders to kill Iphigeneia, his own daughter, and sacrifice her to the Gods. Achilles, the young prince, who tries to save her, but fails, swears to hate Agamemnon for doing this his entire life.
When they finally arrive at Troie they win the first battle, but then Priam closes the gates of the city and they have to wait till he comes out. In the mean Time they take over all the surrounding countries. When Hektor finally comes out with his father’s army Achilles and his Myrmidons won’t take part in this fight, because of the plan Odysseus had thought out.
Without Achilles the Greek are not strong enough. When they have almost lost Patrokles, Achilles’ friend and lover, takes out the Myrmidons into the battlefield. The Greek start winning again, but Patrokles gets killed. Achilles is so angry he leaves the camp to revenge his old friend and kills Hektor.
Then he gets shot in his heel by Paris and dies.
The Troian fly bach into the city again and close the gates. Odysseus realises they can’t win unless the Troian come out, so he thinks out another plan. The Greek leave with all their ships, but a big wooden horse remains at the beach, filled with soldiers. The Troian are so glad the Greek have left they think the horse is a gift of the Gods and they drag it into their walls. At night the soldiers come out and open the gates. Th entire Hreek army enters and they finally take over Troie.
There are a lot of main characters. They are all round characters, because they go threw a lot of development: the war changes their way of thinking, most of them get embittered.
The main characters are:
? Priam – king of Troie
? Helen – most beautifull woman in the world, wife of Menelaos first, later Paris’ wife. One of the reasons of the Troian War.
? Paris – son of Priam, husband of Helen.
? Hektor – son of Priam, Heir of Troie, leeds the Trojan army, gets killed by Achilles.
? Agamemnon – High King of Greece, officially leads the Greek army.
? Achilles – prince, ulTimate warrior, lives his life to die young and famous.
? Odysseus – King of Ithaka, thinks out all the plans for the Greek army.
? Patrokles – Achilles’ best friend and lover, gets killed while leading the Myrmidons.
? Brise – Achilles’ wife during the Time he’s in Troie, a good friend to him too.
? Neoptolemos – Achilles’ son, leader of the Myrmidons after Achilles died.
The story is mainly situated in Troie, but some parts are situated in Greece, some on the sea and some in the other countries of the Hellespont.
It is mainly situated on the battle-field or in the city of Troie. It mainly deals with the upperclass: the Higk Kings, Kings and Heirs. The story takes place from …… to …….
C. The form
The literary form of the book is a novel. I think it belongs to a mixture of genres: a love story, about the love between Menelaos and Helen, Helen and Paris, Patrokles and Achilles and Brise and Achilles, a historical novel, because it’s based on a real history, and a psychological novel, because you get to know a lot about the thoughts of the characters and how they think about eachother.
The stile of the author is very vivid. I don’t know if the author uses description or dialogue as a means of conveying her ideas, because I don’t believe she conveys any of her ideas in this book. But there are a lot of dialogues in the book.
The book has been written from the point of view of many characters. Every new chapter is told by one of the main characters, but someTimes this passes into a sort of omniscient narrator.
It is a completely chronological story with no flashbacks.
D. Personal opinion
I think this book is very facinating. I already knew the entire story before I started reading this book and still I wasn’t bored for a second. I really admire the author for being able to draw someone’s attention that well!
I also liked the book because I like the story that is tolled in it. It is a beautifull history and I have always liked stories about the Antiquities.
I really liked the way the story was told: there were no long boring descriptions. I also liked the end: it was not an open end (which I really hate!) and there even was an Epilogue in which the summary of the rest of the lives of the characters was given.
The persons I disliked most were Helen and Paris, because they were only busy with themself, never thinking about someone else. I could identify best with Achilles, because he has such a terrible life and somehow always finds a way to go on, and Hektor, because he could even love some of the Greek for their personality: he wasn’t embittered by the war at all and he always was friendly to everyone.
This book probably was one of the best I ever read in English!
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