Homer Tonight!

Homer Tonight!

Presented by

Robert Russ

8345 NW 66th St.

Miami, FL 33166



Homer Tonight!

"Homer Tonight!" is a series of one-man shows in the manner of the ancient Greek rhapsodes. I recite/perform Books I, XXII, and XXIV of Homer's Iliad, with or without slides accompanying the show. This "act" is appropriate for Greek festivals, arts festivals, schools, and colleges--even coffee shops and bookstores, anywhere there are lovers of the classics. To learn more about the show, the "rhapsode," and Homer's Iliad, continue down the page.

Performance at Elon University, Elon, NC
Photo courtesy of Jerome Sturm, Elon University

The Trojan War

According to Greek myth, one day when the gods were gathered on Olympos, "Discord," who had not been invited, came long and threw among them a golden apple inscribed "To the fairest." The goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite argued about who should receive the prize, but since no god was stupid enough to allow himself to get drafted as a judge in this divine beauty contest, the goddesses turned to a mortal (poor wretch), Paris, a prince of Troy.

Paris's qualifications for the job are irrelevant, since all three goddesses planned to bribe the judge anyway. Offering Paris the most beautiful human woman, Aphrodite succeeded in buying Paris's vote. However, that woman, Helen, already had a husband (worse luck). So the Trojans went to visit Helen and her husband, Menelaos, at their home in Sparta, and at the end of the visit, Paris took Helen back to Troy with him.

Menelaos was not satisfied with this arrangement, so his brother, Agamemnon, rounded up warriors from all over Greece to go over to Troy to get Helen back, and to kill Trojans, and to get glory, and . . . to steal away everything they could get their hands on.

The Iliad is not the story of the Trojan War, but rather the story of a brief period when Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek forces, and Achilles, the best Greek warrior, had a disatrous conflict over honor and the spoils of war.

As the Iliad begins, the Trojan War has been going on for approximately nine years, and there is no end in sight. Nerves are perhaps a bit frayed. Some of the Greeks may even be doubting whether Zeus will ever "give into [their] hands the stong-walled citadel of Troy to be plundered."

The Characters

Achilleus--the greatest Greek warrior, the son of Peleus, a mortal, and Thetis, a goddess
Agamemnon--the son of Atreus, leader of the Greek expedition against Troy
Apollo--the god of archery, poetry, prophecy, healing, and sickness
Athena--goddess of wisdom (but she's also a fighter), called "the grey-eyed goddess"
Briseis--Achilleus' war prize, his "bed companion"
Chryseis--Agamemnon's war prize, his "bed companion," daughter of Chryses
Chryses--the priest of Apollo
Hephaistos--the lame blacksmith of the gods, "the renowned smith"
Hera--Zeus's wife, the queen of the gods, "Hera of the while arms," "the ox-eyed lady"
Kalchas--the seer, the fortune-teller
Menelaos--another "son of Atreus," Agamemnon's brother, husband of Helen
Nestor--"the fair spoken," "the lucid speaker of Pylos," renowned older warrior
Odysseus--crafty old warrior, the hero of the Odyssey
Patroklos--Achilles' best friend
Thetis--Achilleus' mother, the "silver-footed," "the daughter of the sea's Ancient"
Zeus--king of the gods, the son of Kronos

Selected scenes

The muses inspire the poet
Athena intervenes
The heralds lead Briseis away to Agamemnon
Odysseus returns Chryseis to her father
Thetis pleads with Zeus
Zeus grants Thetis' request
The gods feast on Olympos
Aphrodite brings Paris to Helen (from Book III)
The embassy to Achilleus (from Book IX)
The death of Hektor (from Book XXII)
Priam supplicates Achilleus for Hektor's body (from Book XXIV)


Shows run approximately one hour and, to suit client's needs, may be indoors or out. Indoor performances may be accompanied by slides, such as those that illustrate the "Selected Scenes" above.
Price: Prices vary, depending on clients' wishes of single or multiple shows, with or without additional services, such as lectures or discussions with student groups, etc.
Please inquire for more information.

To schedule a performance of Homer Tonight! for your school or club, email me at: homertonight@hotmail.com
Or call: 863-578-4620

Homer Tonight!

More to follow. This site is under construction. Go to Dr. Bob's Main Page

Links to other Greek sites:

The Homer Homepage: Tons of stuff: translations, literary criticism, maps, images, much more
A Homer/Iliad page for a humanities course at Reed College
Homer's Iliad and the City of Troy: A Geocities site
AHEPA: American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association

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