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Alexander’s dream to conquer the world has its root in the very imaginary of world of the Iliad. To a great extent, Iliad’s world was a world of heroism for Alexander. Homer’s heroes -especially, Achilles- had influenced the young mind of Alexander in his youth. But this world also taught him morality and courage to a considerable extent. It was the courage of Achilles’ courage -to go against Agamemnon’s tyrannous, unreasonable and despotic behavior- that inspired Alexander to raise his voice often against his father’s royal policies. Though he inherited much of the war-tactics and the wisdom of fighting and winning a war from his father Philip of Macedon, textual evidences from the “Iliad” show that a significant part of Alexander’s war-tactics had been induced and modulated by the war-tactics of Homeric heroes. This paper will explore into how Alexander had been influenced by Homer’s epic poem ‘Iliad’. In this regard, Alexander’s real-life activities will be compared with the textual evidences in the poem.
During the formative years of his early life Alexander had been greatly influenced by the “Iliad”. Since his time, he has turned into a legendary personality. He appears to one of the most influential historical personalities who tamed the world by their courage. But this legendary personality himself has been inspired tremendously by the Greek mythologies and legends. During the early years of his life, Alexander studied the ‘Iliad’. The courage and heroism of the Greek heroes in the story were greatly shaping the young mind of Alexander. Especially the Homeric hero Achilles attracted him so much that he decided to imitate him in his real life. Till his death, the Achillean motivation to fight in a war has haunted Alexander’s mind. This Achillean motivation is best described in the following speech of Achilles: “If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy, / my journey
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