The Iliad: Epic Similes and Epithets

Epithet of the Iliad: bright-eyed Athena

Epic Simile of the Iliad: Thick-and-fast as the snow comes swirling down from Zeus, frozen sharp when the North Wind born in heaven blasts it on– so massed, so dense the glistening burnished helmets shone, streaming out of the ships and shields with jutting bosses, breastplates welded front and back and long ashen spears.

-This epic simile was used in Book 19 just after Thetis delivered the new armor to Achilles and Achilles took the gifts offered by Agamemnon.  The simile describes the Achaeans preparing for battle with the Trojans with Achilles joining them in the fight.

Modern Epithet: Tim Lincecum the Freak

Original Epic Simile: After running great lengths to get to the restaurant and waiting for my food for half an hour, my severe hunger pangs caused me to snatch up the rack of ribs and devour them as a great lion pounces on its prey and tears the animal apart to satisfy his famished belly.


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