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Comparing the Film Troy to Homer’s Iliad


Troy (2004) is an epic historical war movie based on Homer’s poem Iliad. The film sidesteps Greek gods turning the heroes into action fighters. In this version of the Iliad, Troy is city that has been inundated for 10 years before being eventually conquered by the Greek army headed by King Agamemnon. The Trojan War emerged because Helen, the queen of Sparta, had been abducted by Paris, the son of King Priam. On the other hand, Iliad is a poem that tells a tale of the rage of the greatest Greek hero ever to fight the Trojan war. His name is Achilles. Iliad is a tale about gods and goddesses and heroes and heroines. The story centers on the Achilles and his determination and anger to slay the Trojan Hero named Hector to recover Helen, the most beautiful woman the world has ever seen. Worth noting, both the poem and the film have similarities in the plot, such as Troy’s siege by the Greeks and the feuds between King Agamemnon and warrior Achilles. The most notable difference between the poem and the film is how some of the major characters in the Iliad die yet survive in Troy. Additionally, the time of death of the characters differs as well as the relationships between characters. This essay aims to compare Iliad and Troy, including the mythological characters in the film, how they start, and how they end.

How they Begin

The film Troy begins at a site called Hisarlik, located in northwest Turkey. A clash between two nations emerges after Paris. The Trojan prince convinces Hellen, the Queen of Sparta, to abandon her husband Menelaus, leave her life behind, and sail alongside him to his home in Troy (Rosidin, 12). Afterwards, Menelaus discovers that his wife is missing and is taken by his enemies, the Trojans. Menelaus then approaches his brother, Agamemnon and requests his help in getting his wife back. Annoyed by his enemies actions, the king comes up with a plan to get Helen back from the Trojans. On the other hand, the poem Iliad begins in the middle as opposed to starting with a background of what transpired before. Homer begins by writing about Achilleus rage. The author sings about the wrath that Achilleus has and the consequences it bears. In this scene, Agamemnon threatens to take Achilleus’ prize, Hellen by force and Achilleus is about to draw his sword and kill him but Athene appears and stops him.

Mythological Characters

Homer fills Iliad with mythical characters from the beginning to the end. He does this in reference to the many gods and creatures that were part of Greek mythology. Some of the mythical creatures in the Iliad include Ares, Poseidon, Zeus, Hera, Athena, Thetis, Apolo, Artemis, and Hermes. Ares is Aphrodite’s lover and is the god of war. Poseidon is the god of the sea and Zeus is the King of Gods. Hera is Zeus’s wife, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, and thetis is the sea nymph and Achilles mother (Van den Berg, 30). Apolo is the god of the sun, Artemis is the goddess of hunting and Hermes is the messenger of the gods. Some of the mythical characters in Troy are Agamemnon, Achilles and Adrastus, while Helen is the main goddess. Helen is Menelaus’s spouse and her father and mother are Zeus and Leda respectively.

The Ending

Troy ends with the death of Achilles. He removes all arrows except the one on his heel. He then bids Briseis goodby and watches as she flees with Paris before breathing his last. The Greeks finally take control of Troy and hold a funeral for Achilles. Odysseus cremates Achilles’s body by himself and the surviving Trojans escape to Mount Ida. Iliad ends with Hector’s death. Achilles, who is the hero in the poem is the one that kills Hector. Achilles kills Hector as an act of revenge for killing Patroclus, his great friend. The poems end with the Trojan War coming to an end.


In closing, the poem Iliad and the film Troy share similarities as well as differences. Troy (2004) is based on Holmer’s epic poem Iliad. Both stories revolve around a war between two rivals over a beautiful woman named Helen. Helen is the wife of King Menelaus who the Trojan prince convinced to abandon her husband and sail back with him to Troy. The king and his brother result go to war to recover his wife. From this story, I have learned the importance of evaluating your opponent before going to war with them. Additionally, there is a need for careful reconciliation among rivals as it can save lives.

Works Cited

Rosidin, Asep. The anaysisi of social and discourse deixis in movie” TROY” script. Diss. UIN Sunan Gunung Djati Bandung, 2020.

Van den Berg, Baukje. “The wise Homer and his erudite commentator: Eustathios’ imagery in the proem of the Parekbolai on the Iliad.” Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 41.1 (2017): 30-44.