Robert Fitzgerald vs Caroline Alexander Iliad Translation Comparison

Years: 1974 and 2016

Fitzgerald's translation of the Iliad captures the poetic grandeur and emotional depth of Homer's epic, while Alexander's translation presents a more straightforward and accessible interpretation that stays true to the original text.

Passage comparison

Robert Fitzgerald

Anger be now your song, immortal one,
Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous,
that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss
and crowded brave souls into the undergloom,
leaving so many dead men—carrion
for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done.

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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