The true subject of the Iliad, Simone Weil famously wrote, is force. Time and again, 'the human spirit is shown as modified by its relation with force, as swept away, blinded, by the very force it imagined it could handle, as deformed by the weight of the force it submits to'. Force turns men, perpetrators of violence and its victims alike, into things: objectification is its bane. Homer's clarity about the moral degradation of war, that machine of force, is what makes him, in Weil's accounting, not just the first but the greatest of poets.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Literature and Literary Theory