This essay was written by lower-sixth former Mattie Sutton, and shortlisted for the 2020 Fifth Form Transitional Research Project. The following provides a short abstract to the full essay, which can be found at the bottom.
Estimated read time of abstract: 1 minute
Estimated read time of essay: 13 minutes
‘The Tale of the Heike’, a Japanese tale of the fall of the Taira clan to the Minamoto, and ‘The Iliad’, the enchanting story of Achilles’ and the Greeks’ struggles against Troy, are two of the greatest epic poems to ever be written, yet from opposite sides of the globe. However, their geographical distance doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t share similarities and form a fascinating piece of literary discussion.
In this essay we look at both poems’ themes use of language and the tradition that surrounds them. We’ll delve to into the specifics of the Japanese and Greek, as well as taking a more holistic view of how the themes such as impermanence, glory, and the view of individuals work together to create the epics. Finally, sweeping from the Aeneid to Tolstoy, from the Hagakure to Bushido: The Soul of Japan we’ll consider the cultural impact of both epics and come to a conclusion over how similar these two pieces of awe-inspiring literature are.
To view Mattie’s full article, follow this link below.