Troy (the movie) v. the Iliad Essay
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Troy and the Iliad are very similar in the story line and the all-around theme but there are huge fundamental changes the director made to the story to increase the likeability of the movie. Troy includes some of the significant events from the Iliad but there are extremely important events of the book that he did not include and some events that are important to the movie that never actually happened in the book.
The three most important fundamental changes of the movie were the change in where the story had actually began and ended, the nonexistence of the gods throughout the whole movie and the change from Achilles’ decision for Patroclus to fight to Patroclus’ decision to go.
In the movie Troy the director makes the decision to start the movie at the start of the war, giving the viewers some background information as to why the war had actually began rather than starting nine years into the war like in the Iliad, “Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles, murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses, hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls, great fighters’ sols, but made their bodies carrion, feast for the dogs and birds, and the will of Zeus was moving toward is end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashes, Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles. ” [1. 1-8] He also ended the book at the end of the Trojan war, far beyond the end of the epic poem “And so the Trojans buried Hector breaker of the horses. ” [24. 944] most likely to show people what had actually happened. Starting and ending the movie in different spots would help give the viewer a more complete event than what the poem had portrayed. Starting the movie with background information on why the war began gives people more information to help them understand the events of the war.
Ending the movie after the war, like starting the movie before, gives the viewers a sense of completeness, you find out what happens to most of the main characters and you see how the war ended rather than just cutting off at Hector’s burial like in the poem and having to figure out the ending for yourself. Like starting the movie in the beginning rather than the middle of the story, the movie was also missing another huge trait of an epic poem; it had no involvement of supernatural beings. The movie completely took out all god/goddess involvement changing the events of the epic dramatically. Not having the god participation throughout the movie was probably a decision they made because of the extreme supernatural events that the gods were involved in would make the movie seem very edited and faked. Aphrodite scooping up Paris during his fight with Menelaus, Apollo pushing Patroclus down the walls, the river fighting with Achilles, “Achilles the famous spearman, leaping down from the bluff plunged in the river’s heart and the river charged against him, churning, surging, all his rapids rising in white fury. ” [21.265-267] Without the participation of the gods the whole theme of fate vanished, nothing was left to the gods, in the movie they talked about Apollo and him sending signs to the Trojans but there was never actual physical participation from any of them. Wolfgang Peterson most likely did not want to add the gods into the movie to keep the movie more realistic for the viewer making everything seem more believable to people in today’s generation who do not have as much faith in miracles and gods as they did when this poem was being passed down.
Unlike the first two dramatic fundamental changes the third does not have anything to do with the traits of an epic poem changing to fit the movie’s standards, but the story line of the movie. In the poem Achilles grants Patroclus permission to go and fight and raise the morals or the Achaeans and even gives him his armor, “Even so, Patroclus, fight disaster off the ships, fling yourself at the Trojans full force—before they gut our hulls with leaping fire and tear away the beloved day of our return” [16. 92-95]. In the movie Patroclus does talk to Achilles about fighting but he says no and Patroclus defies him and goes to fight anyway. The movie was probably changed to strike more at people emotions, Achilles anger, and sadness for the loss of his cousin and how he must feel that he did not even get the chance to say good-bye because he did not know he was going compared to in the book he had the chance to say a final good-bye if he chose to.
It also helps to explain Achilles rage because of Patroclus’ death, in the movie him not giving him permission to go out and fight would give him more of a reason to be upset that he was killed by Hector because Patroclus defied him and went against his ruling, as to the book he gives Patroclus full permission to go out and fight even though he told him to come back he gave him permission knowing there was a possibility he could die during a battle to raise the moral of the Achaean army.
The director of Troy most likely made the changes that he did because an American audience now is more likely to watch something that does tell a complete story so changing where the story begins and ends to fit the full story and the wants of your viewers is important, people also find an interesting story that plays at some emotion and is explained is important. Without emotion and explanation some of the biggest movies would never have become successful.
Also making sure the effects of the movie are good is a sure way to increase the views, we have all seen movies that have awful effects and we never feel the need to see them again so to make a movie successful having good effects will help increase the movie’s ratings. The director probably made most if not all of the changes he did to fit the likes of the American audience and what we had seemed to gravitate towards in a movie at the time it was made.