George Chapman vs Caroline Alexander Iliad Translation Comparison

Years: 1611 and 2016

Chapman's translation of the Iliad captures the epic and intense tone of Homer's original, emphasizing its grandeur and heroic themes, while Alexander's translation maintains a more straightforward and accessible style, allowing for a clearer understanding of the narrative and its characters.

Passage comparison

George Chapman

Achilles' baneful wrath resound, O Goddess, that impos'd
Infinite sorrows on the Greeks, and many brave souls loos'd
From breasts heroic; sent them far to that invisible cave
That no light comforts; and their limbs to dogs and vultures gave:
To all which Jove's will gave effect; from whom first strife begun
Betwixt Atrides, king of men, and Thetis' godlike son.

Caroline Alexander

Wrath—sing, goddess, of the ruinous wrath of Peleus' son Achilles,
that inflicted woes without number upon the Achaeans,
hurled forth to Hades many strong souls of warriors
and rendered their bodies prey for the dogs,
for all birds, and the will of Zeus was accomplished;
sing from when they two first stood in conflict—
Atreus' son, lord of men, and godlike Achilles.


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