Incorrigible Truculence

>> September 12, 2007

I have been reading the Iliad for school. I like it, for the most part... some of the books are so boring, and they just talk about how Blah Blah Blah killed Blah Blah Blah by throwing his spear so that it landed on top of his head and poked out through his chin... you get the picture.

Some parts are really funny, though. Like this part in book 5:

... The grey-eyed goddess Athena hastened to Diomedes. By his char she found him resting, trying to cool the wound Pandaros' arrow gave him. Spent and drenched with sweat beneath his broad shield strap, he felt encumbered by his shield, being arm-weary, and slipped the strap off, wiped his blood away. The goddess put her hand upon the yoke that joined his battle team, and said:

"Ah, yes, a far cry from his father, Tydeus' son. Tydeus was a small man, but a fighter. Once I forbade him war or feats of arms that time he went as a messenger to Thebes alone, detached from the Akhaian host, amid Kademeians in their multitude. Bidden to dine at ease in their great hall, combative as he always was, he challenged the young Kademeians-and he had no trouble pinning them all, I took his part so well. but you, now-here I stand with you, by heaven, protect you, care for you, tell you to fight, but you are either sluggish in the legs from battle-weariness or hollow hearted somehow with fear: you are not, after all, the son of Tydeus."

(this part is boring, I know, but it leads up to the funny part)

Proud Diomedes answered her:

"I know you, goddess, daughter of Zeus who bears the stormcloud. With all respect, I can explain, and will. No fear is in me, and no weariness; I simply bear in mind your own commands. You did expressly say I should not face the blissful gods in fight-that is, unless Aphrodite came in. One might feel free to wound her, anyway. So you commanded, and therefore I am giving ground myself and ordering all the Argives to retire shoulder to shoulder here, because I know the master of battle over there is Ares."

(Funny comes soon)

The grey-eyed goddess answered:

"Diomedes, dear to my heart, no matter what i said, you are excusedc from it; you must not shrink from Ares or from any other god while I am with you. Whip your team toward Ares, hit him, hand to hand, defer no longer to this maniacal god my nature evil, two-faced everywhere. Not one hour ago I heard him grunt his word to Hera and myself to fight on the Argive side; now he forgets all that and joins the Trojans."

(see, its building up now...)

Even as she spoke, she elbowed [the driver] aside and threw him, but gave him a quick hand-up from the ground., while she herself, impetuous for war, mounted with Diomedes. At her step the oaken axle groaned, having to bear goddess and hero. Formidable Athena caught up the whip and reins and drove the horses hard and straight at Ares.

Brute that he was, just at that point he had begun despoiling a giant of a man, the Aitolians' best, Periphas, brilliant scion of Okhesios. the bloodstained god had downed him. but Athena, making herself invisible to Ares, put on the helm of the Lord of Undergloom. then Ares saw Diomedes, whirled, and left Periphas lying where he fell. Straight toward Diomedes lunged the ruffian god. When they arrived in range of one another, Ares, breasting his adversary's horses, rifled his spear over the yoke and reins with murderous aim. Athena caught and deflected it with one hand and sent it bounding harmless from the car.

(here it comes!)

Now Diomedes put his weight behind his own bronze headed spear. Athena rammed it at Ares' belted waist so hard that she put a gash in his fair flesh, and pulled the spearhead out again.

(Here it is!)

Then brazen Ates howled to heaven, terrible to hear as roaring from ten thousand men in battle when long battalions clash. A pang of fear ran throught the hearts of Trojans and Akhaians, deafened by insatiable Ares' roar. Like a black vapor from a thunderhead riding aloft on stormwind brewed by heat, so brazen Ares looked to Diomedes as he rose heavenward amid the clouds. High on Olympus, crag of the immortals, he came to rest by the Lord Zeus.. Aching, mortified, he showed his bleeding wound and querulously addressed him:

(It gets better.)

"Father Zeus, how do you take this insubordination? What frightful things we bear from one another doing good turns to men! And I must say we all hold it against you. You conceived a daughter with no prudence, a destroyer (what do you call yourself, Ares?) given to violence (as I said, What do you call yourself, Ares). We other gods obey you, as submissive as you please, while she goes unreproved; never a word, a gesture of correction comes from you-only begetter of the insolent child. She is the one who urged Diomedes on to mad attempts on the immortals-first he closed with Aphrodite, cut her palm, and now he hurled himself against me like a fury. It was my speed that got me off, or I should still be there in pain among the dead, the foul dead- or undone by further strokes of cutting bronze."

(this is the best part!)

But Zeus who masses cloud regarded him with frowning brows and said:

" do not come whining here, you two-faced brute, most hateful to me of all the Olympians combat and brawling are your element. This beastly, incorrigible truculence (nice words, Zeus!) comes from your mother, Hera, whom I keep but barely in my powerm say what I will. You came to grief, I think, at her command. Still, I will not have you suffer longer. I fathered you, I fathered you after all; your mother bore you as a son to me. If you had been conceived by any other and born so insolent, then long ago your place would have been far below the gods.

I don't know what you thought about that, but i thought it was pretty funny. Sorry if it wasn't, but maybe you just don't get my sense of humor in this area.

Hahaha... stupid, cowardly Ares. goes crying to his daddy at the slightest wound. hahaha.


Anonymous September 12, 2007 at 10:47 PM  

I laughed hardest at your parenthetical comments that kept urging me to read! I liked how Daddy blamed Ares' "incorrigible truculence" on Hera, his mommy. Sounds like their family needed counseling. (from Mom)

chloe gomel September 12, 2007 at 11:14 PM  

I thought the whole "Tydeus was a small man" part was funny.

And when Aphrodite is crying to her mommy and Hera and Athena are watching. You can just see them with their chins in their hands rolling their eyes and sighing. This, however, is my favorite passage so far:

"Dione soothed her, wiped away the ichor with both hands from Aphrodite's palm-already trobbing less, already healing.

But Hera and Athena, looking on, had waspish things to say, to irritate Zeus. It was the grey-eyed goddess who began:

'Oh Father, will you be annoyed if I made a small comment? Aphrodite likes to beguile the women of Akhaia to elope with the Trojans, whom she so adores:
now, fondling some Akhaian girl, I fear, she scratched her slim white hand on a golden pin.'"

can't you just hear the smugness in her voice?

They're so mean to each other, it's hilarious!"

Jacque September 12, 2007 at 11:40 PM  

wow. Registering wasn't that difficult.
I read all of your blogs and commented on some, so read my comments.
I hope more people start reading your blog, it is a lot of fun. The best post is about our vacation.
The cutest is about our pets.
Some are kinda weird.

Jon September 14, 2007 at 10:08 AM  

I'm not sure who is more incorrigibly truculent, Brenna or Michael Jon...

And wow... I thought those books only came in Cliff Notes versions, not full blown texts!

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