There is no calmer picture of winds than that of the fog hanging over the mountaintops when the winds are asleep 5. Within the shifting mix of characters and subjects, the distribution of similes both throughout the book and in each of the four sections provides guidance in identifying the theme. They can be imagined because the simile has already conveyed the nature of their fear so effectively that the poet can easily move on with his story. There are, of course, obvious connections between similes when the poet repeats a subject late in the book that he has used earlier or continues to choose the same subject several times. Zeus announced the enforcement of his plan in book 8, pressed it in book 11, and brings the plan close to fulfillment when Hector breaks open the gates in book 12. The arming of Achilles illustrates the third method, the combination of various alternative elements to accompany the best of the Achaeans 19. In fact, he is only momentarily weakened and needs to withdraw.
For such a discussion it is necessary to identify the major structural units in the Iliad and Odyssey. The most compelling proof for the nonverbal existence of the tree simileme is found in a two other passages that draw upon its elements even though they are not similes. The presence of such an even-handed simile underlines the balanced quality of the battle. Generally the wind, often stirred by Zeus, is the topic that favors the Trojans as they move successfully against the Greeks—continuing even into book 13, where their advance is accompanied by a simile of flame or a wind 39. Or, the reverse—the poet may use scenes from more lyrical, gentler nature to describe warlike elements in the narrative: As a star appears among other stars in the darkness of the night, the evening star, which stands as the fairest star in the heavens, just so was the gleam from the sharp-pointed spear which Achilles balanced in his right hand devising evil for the noble Hector. This first questioning of the effectiveness of war as a human pursuit is ironically absurd; later questions in this book will be more realistic.
These ekphrases occupy so large a portion of each work that they are necessarily major elements in the overall design. In the final books of the Iliad Achilles has been compared to a lion three times: 18. Some of the more profoundly moving moments in The Iliad and The Odyssey revolve around these analogies. They describe scenes of Greek life that are not presented in their simplest form anywhere else: landscapes and seascapes; storms and calm weather; fighting among animals; aspects of civic life such as disputes, athletic contests, horse races, community entertainment, women carrying on their daily lives, and men running their farms and orchards. The similemes of lions and boars, winds, fish, and farm animals are often repeated topics for such scenes.
For modern readers, the epic also has an unusual amount of repetition. Once again choices in the extending elements drain the potential warlike qualities from the simileme. Brown has shown how addresses can be modified to convey special meaning. In seeking reasons for this weak and confused performance the audience must realize that the opening of the book has put the focus on the inept commands of Agamemnon. Trap for an animal or winding sheet for a dead man? Conversely, because similes have been incorporated by the poet within his story in order to provide support for his larger conception, they offer especially significant clues for the interpretation of longer passages. The organizing force of the simileme underlies all similes in that family, long and short, and the full awareness of the background is vital if these similes are to be effective in their context.
These suggestions led the poet to reuse simile subjects and phrasing—even to repeat certain long similes six times word for word. It is important that Homer presents these four scenes focused on mortal insignificance as an introduction to the battle between Achilles and Hector, in which the extreme demands of the heroic code will be exposed. And they removed the props from under the ships. As a result, motifs are assigned to separate columns on the chart when they seem to represent independent choices: the tree may be felled by means of a tool with or without the specific mention of a human agent or his purpose 13. Lycaon supplicates Achilles, who responds harshly, an answer foreshadowing his brutality in book 22.
Though the horse simile is repeated word for word, the effect is totally different; when the second simile is missing, Paris seems a frivolous creature interested only in warrior-like posturing. Translations, for obvious reasons, generally cannot mimic the metric foot of the epics and remain true to content and themes. Book 19 opens with the removal of the arms from the hall. In addition, the presentation of the Shield is complex. In the first section 1—135 Achilles leaps into the Xanthos River to continue slaying Trojan warriors and seizes twelve youths for human sacrifice, perhaps his most inhumane act.
At this point Athena persuades Ares, always a supporter of the Trojans, to sit apart from battle as a series of Greek heroes kills individual Trojans 29—36 + 37—83. Finally, the conclusion attempts to imagine how a poet could have juggled all the elements that went into the series of choices that produced the individual simile. That's where they take something, maybe the lady they are trying to woo, and compare it to something else: a summer's day, a rose, a sunset. The talent, poetic brilliance, and remarkable abilities shown by later poets should not be denied to Homer even though he was dependent on those modes of expression prevalent in his own time. The traditional diction was adapted to the needs of the simile just as easily as to those of the narrative.
Thus tree similes seem a legitimate category on the basis of their frequent occurrence and also their consistent usage in defined contexts. Homer chooses to use similes when they enhance the presentation of his theme, and he extends them to fortify this strategy. The poet is not compelled to use one and only one form of a type scene or to keep the formula as a fixed unit in its position in the line, but the texts show a strong tendency to reuse the same formula unless there is a reason to change. Throughout the Iliad Hector is regarded as a warrior whose bravery will be fatal. She floated like a butterfly. The force of the wind sets it roaring -- But there is also the more lyrical fire that describes the gleam from the divine arms of Achilles: just as when the gleam of a burning fire appears over the sea to sailors—a fire which burns high up in the mountains in a lonely farmstead. In this passage similes respond to the balanced battle between Greeks and Trojans: 725: hounds Trojans viciously attack a wounded boar the two Ajaxes that scares them away when he turns to fight 737: a fierce fire Trojans is driven against a city by the wind and destroys it 742: two mules Menelaus and Meriones drag a large beam along a rugged path 747: a ridge Ajaxes holds back several rivers Trojans that threaten to burst through 755: a falcon Aeneas and Hector attacks smaller birds Greeks , bringing the threat of death These four passages in books 2, 11, 15, and 17 establish the simile cluster as a form familiar to the poet.