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Visions & Voices: An Iliad: Home

Guide to Visions and Voices to accompany the play's performance at the Broad Theater on January 22, 2014.


This brief guide was created to complement the Visions & Voices event scheduled for Wednesday, January 22, 2014.

This trip is for current USC students only. You must use the provided transportation to participate.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. RSVP beginning Monday, December 9, 2013 at 9 a.m.

For event details, go to

About This Guide

About the Play

An Iliad is based on Homer's ancient Greek epic poem adapted by Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson from the translation by Robert Fagles.  Rendered in  contemporary prose, this one-actor production is being performed at Santa Monica's Broad Stage.

"The action in “An Iliad’’ unfolds in the ninth year of the Trojan War, with Troy under siege by the Greeks. “Fighting on and off, fighting to the wall and back,’’ says O’Hare. “Greeks win one day, Trojans win the next, like a game of tug-of-war, and nothing to show for it but exhaustion, poverty, and loneliness.’’ Emotions are equally raw and specific in a scene, enacted by O’Hare with harrowing force, in which Patroclus is killed by Hector, a prince and the commander of the Trojan army. Upon learning of the death of his friend, the Greek leader Achilles is driven to a fury of revenge.

Not content just to kill his foe, Achilles drags his dead body by chariot around the walls of Troy while Hector’s mother, father, and brothers watch helplessly. Before he does that, though, Achilles takes a moment to proclaim to his soldiers that “we have won ourselves great glory.’’ But “An Iliad’’ makes abundantly clear that when the subject is war, glory is the very last word we should ever use."
Don Aucoin, Boston Globe

Fagles’ blank verse translation was originally published in 1990.  It has been called "groundbreaking" and is considered one of the best translations of The Iliad.

Copies are available in Leavey and Doheny, call no. PA4025.A2 F33 1990

Subject Guide

Amy Ciccone
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 115

Image Credit

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (Italian, ca. 1527-1593)
The Librarian (Wolfgang Lazius)
, ca. 1562
Oil on canvas. 97 x 71 cm (38 3/16 x 28 in.)

© Skoklosters Slott, Stockholm

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