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Robert Graves and the Classical Tradition$
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A. G. G. Gibson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738053

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738053.001.0001

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The Anger of Achilles

The Anger of Achilles

A Prize-Winning ‘Epic for Radio’ by Robert Graves

(p.314) (p.315) 16 The Anger of Achilles
Robert Graves and the Classical Tradition

Amanda Wrigley

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the varied scholarly, critical, and public engagements with The Anger of Achilles, Robert Graves’s adaptation of Homer’s Iliad. It was a huge commercial success in book form, often reprinted following its first publication in 1959. In the 1960s Graves vigorously pursued stage and film performances of the text, but while these plans continually faltered, it was in repeated performances on BBC Radio’s Home Service and Third Programme that The Anger of Achilles reached its largest audiences and attained its greatest critical success, with the award in 1965 of the Prix Italia for an outstanding literary and dramatic work for radio. This study emphasizes the fact that Graves’ creative adaptations of antiquity held enormous popular appeal, not only for readers but also for hundreds of thousands of listeners who may not, in the main, have been schooled in Classics.

Keywords:   The Anger of Achilles, BBC Radio, Home Service, Homer, the Iliad, Prix Italia, public engagement, Robert Graves, Third Programme

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