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The Iliad for Boys and Girls by Alfred J. Church
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Echoing Homer’s epic poem The Iliad, Church offers a simplified rendering of the classic siege of Troy, as he retells the story which is regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of Western literature. The Iliad for Boys and Girls is written in an easy to follow style that is certain to provide clarity to the otherwise perplexing tale presented in Homer’s original. Furthermore, the tale explores various themes including the destructive nature of pride, grueling revenge, honor, and the capricious interference of the Ancient Greek gods in temporal affairs. Set in the tenth year of the Trojan War, the story unfolds when the Greek commander in chief Agamemnon and his unrivaled warrior Achilles find themselves in disagreement over a beautiful maiden who is held captive. Insulted for having to give up the girl, Achilles is overwhelmed by fury as he decides to withdraw from fighting in the war as a means to spite Agamemnon for his inconsiderate demand. Additionally, he desires to witness the destruction of the Greek army and therefore seeks his mother’s help to sway the gods to assist his vengeful cause and see his vengeance through. His prayers are promptly heard by the all-powerful Zeus who ensures the Trojans temporary ascendancy, as they execute a successful counterattack and bring the Greeks to an unfavorable disadvantage. However, as the tale progresses and the conflict between the two opposing sides intensify, Achilles must put aside his grudge and abide by what is right and honorable. Apart from offering a more comprehensible version of the thrilling saga, the abridgement also reflects and delivers the original idea envisioned by Homer, as The Iliad for Boys and Girls focuses on the events surrounding the legendary tale. By providing a more explicit representation of characters and events, while concurrently eliminating the use of ambiguous language, Church enables the audience to experience the mythological allure of Ancient Greece in a clear-cut edition.