The movie Troy written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen was inspired by The Iliad, an ancient Greek poem about the time of warrior Achilles argument with King Agamemnon during the Trojan War. Some events the film where taken straight from the Iliad, and is at times the two stories are very similar to one another. However there are several major differences between them, as Troy the movie was made to appealing to twenty first century audiences, where as the Iliad was meant to appeal to Greeks in the eighth century BC.
The difference in time, culture, and format between the movie and the Iliad make differences such as the gods roles and time the stories covered, are necessary to allow both to be understood and interesting by their audience, and where producible at the time. Time difference. The Iliad only tells part of the story of the Trojan War, covering only a few weeks during the war. The Iliad begins nine years after the start of the war, during the final year of the war.
However the movie begins before the Trojan War, and continues through to the end of the war. The movie aims to give more of an overview of the events leading to and during the war, where as the Iliad only focuses on a small piece of the full story. When hearing the Iliad the ancient Greeks would have known the rest of the story about the Trojan War, as it was part of their culture, they would have heard the stories from the time they were very young.
Because of this the Iliad did not need to explain why the Trojans and Greeks where at war, as its audience would already know what had happened before the Iliad, and they would also know what happens after the Iliad. Modern audiences on the other hand have not grown up hearing tales of the Trojan War, it is not part of our culture, and so most people watching troy would not already know how the war started, or who the different characters are. Because of this the movie begins by introducing some of important characters, the warrior Achilles and king Agamemnon, leader of the Greek kingdoms.
The first scene of the film lets the audience know who king Agamemnon is and how powerful he is. It also shows how Achilles and Agamemnon feel about one another. Referring to Achilles King Agamemnon says “ Of all the warlords loved by the gods, I hate him the most. ” Later in the scene when speaking about Agamemnon Achilles says “ He’s not my king. ” This sets up the ill feelings between the two, which is very important in the rest of the movie, as well as in the Iliad.
The movie then continues to explain why the Trojan War began, and introduces the rest of the main characters before showing the beginning of the war. This allows its audience to understand what is happening in the movie without already having knowledge about the war and the characters in it. The movie also continues on after the end of the Iliad, which ends with the King of troy, Priam getting his son, Hector’s body back from Achilles, who had killed him and taken the body back to the Greek camp.
The movie however continues on passed this point, going on to show the end of the war. This was changed because the film amid to give an overview of the whole war, if it ended the same as the Iliad modern audiences would most likely have felt confused by the ending, and would want to know what happened afterwards. To the modern audience it would seem like a strange place to end, as they would expect the main conflict of the film, the Trojan War, to be solved before the movie ends.
The length of the Trojan War is also changed in the Movie, in the Iliad the war has already been going for nine years, implying it was a long hard struggle for the Greeks to take Troy. In comparison the movie makes it appear as though the entire war lasted a number of weeks. The ancient Greeks would have known about war, as it was part of their culture, and would find it believable that the war between two such strong armies, with Troy’s strong walls to protect them would take time, they also knew the Iliad was only part of what happened, and they had other stories about the rest of the war.
Modern audiences however, especially in western culture do not have war as a large part of their culture, so are happy to believe the war lasted only a few weeks. The movie also did not have time to explain what happened in the nine years before, and as it does not really affect the storyline of the movie or Iliad it would have been easier to cut it out, then try to explain to the audience how much time had passed between events. The role of the Gods The role of the gods differs greatly between the movie and the poem.
In the Iliad the Olympic Gods and Goddesses play a major role in the lives of the characters, and the outcome of the war. The Gods continuously intervene in the characters lives, hugely involving themselves in all the main events in the Iliad. For example in the Iliad when Paris a prince of Troy, fights Menelaus, king Agamemnon’s brother, for the beautiful Helen, the Goddess Aphrodite intervenes to save Paris when she see’s he is losing: “ Aphrodite hid Paris in a dense mist and whisked him away. There are many other examples in the Iliad of Gods becoming involved in the Trojan War, such as when Zeus, the king of the gods, persuades king Agamemnon to launch a full scale attack on Troy in a dream, and later when it looks like the war might be over Athena convinces a Trojan archer to fire at Menelaus to anger the Greeks and make sure the war continues. Smaller deities are also involved in the Iliad, such as the spirit of a river called Xanthus, which was near Troy.
The river is on the side of the Trojans, and when Achilles killed many Trojan solders in and near the river, the river “ raised a high wave and attacked him … The great and terrible wave gathered about Achilles, falling upon him and beating on his shield, so that he could not keep his feet. ” Achilles was saved by the rivers anger by another deity, Hephaestus, god of metal work, who boiled the river. In the Iliad Achilles mother, Thetis, is also a deity, she is a river nymph, who convinces Hephaestus to make Achilles new armor after Hector takes his old armor.
The continued presence and intervention by the Gods in the Iliad is very different in the Movie. In the movie only one deity, Thetis, is ever seen. It is not inertly clear in the movie if she is a goddess, though it seems more likely that she is not one. A boy who wakes Achilles for battle mentions a rumor he heard about her, saying “ They say your mother is an immortal goddess” the only time we see Thetis in the movie keeping with her being a river nymph she is standing walking in the ocean, collecting shells.
However apart from this she appears to be mortal, as there is nothing godly about her, she looks like an older women, which you would not expect if she was an immortal nymph, but makes sense if she is Achilles mortal mother. Thetis only appears the movie once, near the beginning, before Achilles goes to Troy, to prophesize that if Achilles goes to Troy he will die there. The rest of the gods are never shown in the movie, although they are mentioned.
The film makes it clear the Greeks and Trojans believe in the gods, at one point Achilles has his men ransack a temple of sun god Apollo, one of his followers Eudorus tells Achilles “ Apollo sees everything. Perhaps it is not wise to offend him. ” However Achilles does not care and cuts the head off a statue of Apollo. The Trojan king Priam asks a priest of Apollo for advice before he goes to battle, listening to the priest, as he believes the man is “ a servant of the gods. ” And that the signs the priest sees are from the gods, telling him what will happen. Achilles also speaks of the gods, but not in as kind a light as the others, when briam