Hi! I really want to read the Iliad, but both times I've tried reading it I just become so overwhelmed. I read the Odyssey for school a few years ago and enjoyed it, so I was really hoping to read/enjoy the Iliad. I'm not sure if it's just all the different characters that are confusing me or if it's the language itself? Should I first do some research/have background knowledge of the story? (I already have a fair amount of knowledge of greek mythology in general) Any advice would be great!
First things first: make sure you’ve got a good translation, because there’s literally nothing worse than trying read twelve million lines of badly translated Homeric Greek. Personally I’d recommend Fitzgerald, but a lot of people (especially people who don’t read a whole lot of verse and are looking for something looser) prefer Fagles. Read up on that, grab a couple of different copies and see what feels most comfortable. That’s step one, and you may find that solves your problem without any further steps. If that doesn’t help, then it might be time to look into a reader’s guide. As for which one, I’m not going to be very much help with that because it’s not something I’ve ever used. (You might try the classics side of Tumblr. @terpsikeraunos? @thoodleoo? Maybe you can steer Nonnie in the right direction?)