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This companion goes book by book through the Iliad, giving interesting information and insights. I used it in my second journey through the Iliad (both times, in translation). It was most helpful. Of course it was written a number of years ago and is a bit old-fashioned in places. Sometimes it is unintentionally humorous ("Dead men do not groan.") I recommend it to all who enjoy the details and byways of history and literature.
If you are studying the Iliad or reading it for pleasure (which I recommend!), and buy the Richmond Lattimore translation, which I also recommend, this guide is a line-by-line study guide. It's certainly not absolutely necessary -- the Lattimore translation is clear and lovely all by itself -- but some details of warfare, poetic usage and mythological connections will be made clear by this volume. I read each of the Iliad's book and then went quickly through the Willcock guide to that book and found that I learned a fair amount. Worth having, although the Iliad always stands by itself.
I read this side-by-side with Lattimore's Iliad, and found it extremely helpful in explaining the allusions and historical accuracy of the poem. It is worthwhile to spend the extra time studying this masterpiece, and Prof. Willcock makes the process easy!
I hold an advanced degree in the field and this was an outstanding resource when teaching high school students. It had answers to most the the creative/odd/insightful questions they asked. Actually, this guide made reading the Iliad more interesting for me as well.
It came right on time! I was very pleased with the condition considering I am a college student and reading this with the Iliad. I very much recommend that if you are having or wishing to read the Iliad in its entirety and truly understand it, that you get this companion.
This book delivers precisely what the title foretells: a useful companion to another, often inscrutable, book. I you are patient enough to read an explanation of almost every verse and unusual expression in The Illiad, I highly recommend this companion.
It is just as advertised: a companion to the Iliad. It's wonderful in clearing up what is to our modern American english ears, the somewhat vague and obfuscating epic, even though viewed through an english friendly translation.