Robert Fitzgerald vs Michael Reck Iliad Translation Comparison

Years: 1974 and 1994

Fitzgerald's translation of the Iliad is renowned for its poetic beauty and lyrical language, while Reck's translation focuses more on staying true to the original text and capturing the epic's historical context with a more straightforward style.

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.

Michael Reck

Sing, Goddess, Achilles' maniac rage:
ruinous thing! it roused a thousand sorrows
and hurled many souls of mighty warriors
to Hades, made their bodies food for dogs
and carrion birds—as Zeus's will foredoomed—
from the time relentless strife came between
Atreus' son, a king, and brave Achilles.


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