Basically exactly what the title says. Oh, did I mention they happen to be Ancient Greek classics?
Disclaimer: These are my notes that I wrote while reading the books. They do not make any sense at all, but I think they’re really funny. Enjoy!
Book: The Iliad Original Author: Homer Translated by: Robert Fagles Genre: Epic Poetry Notes: I love how iconic the opening is. Mmm, "Rage." Yum. Ooh, Apollo! All this praise is going to go to his head. Achilles is being kinda ridiculous. Ajax! What, there are two? Big Ajax and Little Ajax. Okay. Odysseus! (He's my favorite.) I can literally imagine Agamemnon and Achilles getting into a giant fight in front of their men. Sheesh! Enough with who led who already! I only recognize about a sixteenth of these names! Hector's cool. Typically, Aphrodite and Ares are on the same side. Stupid men. Why is Apollo helping the Trojans? Nestor! I love Nestor! I'm naming a pet Nestor someday. 'Agamemnon's day of glory.' Interesting title. Wow, yeah, okay, gore warning! Homer! Seriously dude?! Although it is kind of impressive that he can kill guys bloodily while naming both them and all their ancestors. I think he's inventing names. So the Argives chased the Trojans to Troy and the the Trojans chased the Argives back to their ships. Stupid men. So Athena somehow manages to protect both Achilles and Odysseus. Thank the gods they're on the same side. Hey! Quit being mean to Artemis! More gory fighting? Why am I even surprised? This is stupid. Why am I reading it again? "Aeneas the innocent!" Ha, that's funny. Patroclus is the only person here who's actually sane. Finally, Achilles! You're an idiot for waiting this long! Great, now he's got bloodlust. AAH MY BRAIN HURTS AND EVERYTHINGS'S ON FIRE 'And so they buried Hector, breaker of horses.' Thanks for making me cry! Stupid book.
Book: The Odyssey Original Author: Homer Translated by: Robert Fagles Genre: Epic Poem Notes: I cannot believe boys would have to memorize this. Of course Zeus is praised so highly. Ai-yai-yai. Orestes! We're reading Agamemnon soon. Telemachus is kinda sweet. Nestor! And he's a charioteer? Huh? So now they're with Menelaus. I like him. Did Agamemnon have to die? Also, Helen: girl, get your act together. Poor Penelope. It was clever with the shroud thing, though. There's Odysseus! Finally! I feel bad for Calypso. Poseidon! Dude! What is your problem?! Ooh, the 'great teller of tales!' Love it. Cyclops! Nobody. Hah, that's awesome. If Nobody is perfect, and I'm nobody, then I'm perfect. -high fives self- Circe, cool. I think I like Calypso better, though. 'Queen Circe has shown the way.' Wax poetic much? But I love it. Going down to the land of the dead. Check. Keep an eye out for a giant three-headed dog. Tiresias, the famous Theban prophet. Pretty sure he's in Oedipus the King. Ariadne? What does she have to do with anything? There's Achilles. Hope he found Patroclus. Finally he's home. Thank Athena. (After all, it was her fault.) Making sneaky plans..... this should be fun. Teary father-son reunion. Sweet! I love this part. The bit with the bow and the axes! I love that! So many axes! Good lord that's a lot of blood. Awe, the tree and the wedding bed! One of my favorite parts. Great ending, much better than the Iliad.
Book: Agamemnon Original Author: Aeschylus Translated by: David Greene and Richmond Lattimore Genre: Play Notes: So they're come up with a telephone line of hilltop fires? Cool. But it would only work if everybody was paying attention. So wait, Menelaus and Agamemnon are descended from Tantalus? That explains a lot. Okay, so 'Strophe' means right and 'Antistrophe' means left, so they must be stage directions. But man are there a lot of subdivisions! Wait, he literally sacrificed his daughter to the gods? And I thought my family was dysfunctional. 'May the dawn child be born to be an angel of blessing from the kindly night.' I love this quote, but I hate that Clytemnestra said it. Gods, I want to strangle her! I feel worst for Cassandra here. See, Apollo had cursed her so that although her prophecies were always right, no one would ever believe her. Pretty sure he felt baad later, but still. No excuse. Okay, but like, Aegisthus, Clytemnestra's lover, is so stuck up! They should both be boiled in oil! Wait a minute, men are allowed to take female concubines, but women are expected to be monogamous? Um?! The worst part is, we aren't even going to read the second two parts to finish the story!
Book: Prometheus Bound Original Author: Aeschylus Translated by: David Greene and Richmond Lattimore Genre: Play Notes: Hephaestus is cool. I kinda feel bad for him. But like, Prometheus was doing a good thing! Sometimes Zeus makes no sense. I'm pretty sure he brought the fire to humans in a fennel stalk, but I might be wrong. SO I have this theory about the meaning of the prophecy Prometheus gives about Zeus losing his power. I think that because humans got better and more advanced, we started believing in science, which ended with the Scientific Enlightenment. Zeus lost power because people stopped believing in him. Oh, look, Io! She was the one Zeus turned into a cow to hide his adultery from Hera! So wait, Prometheus said he would be freed by Io's descendants. He was finally freed by Hercules. So Hercules is Io's descendant? But he's also a son of Zeus! Ew, dude, no! I really don't think Hermes should be antagonizing him. Goodness, I feel so bad for the guy!
Book: Oedipus the King Original Author: Sophocles Translated by: David Greene and Richmond Lattimore Genre: Play Notes: The sad thing is the audience knows from the beginning, but Oedipus has no idea. And it was foretold before he was even born! Hey, quit picking on Teiresias! He's done literally nothing! Creon's kinda cool. Jocasta is his wife? Okay... So Oedipus was found abandoned on a mountainside? That's sad. Oh, he was adopted! That makes so much sense! Okay, but seriously, this whole book is just gross. I wonder why Apollo is cursing Thebes.....
Book: Antigone Original Author: Sophocles Translated By: David Greene and Richmond Lattimore Genre: Play Notes: So Antigone was Oedipus's daughter. That makes sense, considering these were written by the same guy. So she'd also be the daughter of her grandmother, right? Sheesh. So she's in trouble for burying the body of her dead brother even though she was following the customs of the Greeks? Hypocrites. I like Antigone, she's feisty. Creon is being really unreasonable. Here's Teiresias. Maybe he can fix these idiots. Nope! He can't since nobody listens as soon as they hear something they don't like. They make fun of him what they don't like what they hear. Idiots. Did you not learn from Oedipus?! And now Antigone's dead, Creon's wife is dead, and his son is dead. Nice going, dude. Why can't anybody just listen to Teiresias?!?!
Book: Hippolytus Original Author: Euripides Translated By: David Greene and Richmond Lattimore Genre: Play Notes: Aphrodite makes my blood boil sometimes. Honestly, she thinks she's the best and she's aggravating. Hippolytus seems like a goody-two-shoes. Of all the goddesses, he could have picked anybody, but he picked Artemis? Well, he is the son of an Amazon. Does nobody honestly notice that Phaedra's in love? There are obvious signs! Why in heaven's name is she in love with him? Oh yeah, Aphrodite. So Hippolytus's big speech about women and how they're weak, seductive hateful temptresses? Gods above, if I was Aphrodite, I'd want to kick him even more than before. That's the first time we actually agree on something! Oooh, Phaedra's tricky. I appreciate her suicide note. At least she's getting some sort of revenge. So Hippolytus got trampled to death by his own horses. Serves him right.
Book: Medea Original Author: Euripides Translated by: John Davie Genre: Play Notes: Huh, I wonder what the servants think of Medea pitching a fit. This chorus of women seems awfully ready to condemn Jason. He did what?!? Now I get why Medea was upset. Okay, but killing your family for the guy who doesn't actually love you is..... kinda dumb. Stupid Aphrodite. Eeeee! Death to the girl! Yes, wonderful torture! And Creon, too? Oh, he deserved it. Shut it Jason, you lost your chance a long time ago. But, yikes, killing you kids? Girl, I think you might be going just a little too far? Ooh, the chariot pulled by dragons! Cool! Yeah, so I definitely learned to not be stupid and to not try and get revenge. Sheesh. Just sheesh.
Yeah, so those are all the notes I took while reading these books. I’ll let you guys know what I think of Plato’s Republic, shall I?