The Iliad Live

 

"The Iliad Live" is a dramatic performance by Eldon Quick of Book One, Book Three, or Book Twenty-four of Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of Homer’s The Iliad. Each performance takes about an hour.

Eldon performs The Iliad as he believes Homer did 2,700 years ago, no props, no scenery, no stage effects, just one man and an audience. Homer created his poetry extemporaneously, he made it up as he went along. Eldon is not that gifted. Therefore he has memorized Robert Fitzgerald’s translation word for word. He does not read it, he recites it from memory.

Homer created wonderful characters to populate his story. He created them not by describing them to his audience, but by giving them speeches that reveal their characters as they interact with one another. Eldon has created personalities and voices for these characters and speaks their words with their passion and their purpose. His characters range from the youthful and powerful Achilles through arrogant and greedy Agamemnon to the aged and wise old Nestor. Homer did not populate his story only with men. This required Eldon to create physicality and voices for the women as well. From Athena the wise warrior goddess, through Helen the most beautiful woman in the world, to Hera Zeus’s nagging wife.

When spoken and told to an audience as one would tell a story, The Iliad comes to life as real interactions between real people with real consequences to be hoped for or feared. Homer was also a showman who understood that without comedy there cannot be tragedy (Though there were no words for either of these concepts in Homer’s time) Therefore he includes in his story the antics of the gods. These beings are supremely powerful but hardly competent. Their efforts to reward or punish mortals behind the backs, and against the wills, of other gods are quite reminiscent of situation comedy today. The idea that these fickle, promiscuous beings should control the destiny of a man is a sad joke indeed.

Eldon will preface his performance with an introduction to set the environment preparing the audience for what they are about to experience. After, if the occasion justifies, he will conduct a question and answer session for those who are interested.

The honorarium for a performance is flexible. It depends on how many will be in the audience, the institutions budget constraints and how far Eldon and his assistant have to travel.

 

Promo Tape  Iliad as Theatre  |  Homer and The Iliad  |  The Actor and The Iliad 
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