One of the many striking things about the Iliad is its capacity to convey the warrior’s glory without shying away from the obscenity of carnage and the apparent enjoyment of it by many of the so-called heroes. This horrific image of gaping wounds is all the more awful for the joy it brings to Idomeneo, the king of Crete.

 

‘When all seems lost, there Ido is,

Grinning among the blades, inflicting big-lipped wounds’

 

Source: Christopher Logue, War Music: An account of Books 1-4 and 16-19 of Homer’s Iliad, London: Faber and Faber, 2001, p. 106

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