Pathak, Shubha. 2014. Divine Yet Human Epics: Reflections of Poetic Rulers from Ancient Greece and India. Hellenic Studies Series 62. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_PathakS.Divine_Yet_Human_Epics.2014.
Conclusion. Affirmative and Interrogative Epics
The Intercultural Boundaries between Greek and Indian Royal Poems
The Intercultural Bridges between Affirmative Epicsand between Interrogative Epics
Bowra’s rather harsh evaluation of romance—relative to epic—leaves the impression that romance is less honest than fanciful, less momentous than frivolous, and less traditional than recreational. On the first page of his preface, he actually acknowledges his intellectual debt to the Chadwicks, whose “analytical examination of [heroic poetry] shows what it is in a number of countries and establishes some of its main characteristics.” But Bowra, despite doing work “continuing the subject [of heroic poetry] where [the Chadwicks] stop,” differs from them in “exclud[ing from his study] … the old Indian epics, in which a truly heroic foundation is overlaid with much literary and theological matter.”  Even so, his adoption of the Chadwicks’ devolutionary view of heroic poetry implies that he may have approved also of the Chadwicks’ elevation, on this view, of the Mahābhārata above the Rāmāyaṇa.
Affirmative and interrogative epics as accounts of intracultural complementarity
But poets’ efforts to differentiate the ideals and outlooks of the Homeric epics may have been cooperative, not competitive. Certainly, in the case of the epics’ central ideal, kléos, epic audiences have benefited from having available “two exemplary extremes in conceiving [thei]r relationship with life and death and accordingly two different ways of writing and circumventing [thei]r anxiety about death.”  The authors of the Iliad and of the Odyssey, then, may have strived to provide alternative models of kléos between which their audiences could choose: one model affirming such glory so fervently that its destructive achievement is expressed as a kind of easy creativity, but the other model interrogating such fame so intently that its productive attainment is threatened continually by ruin. Perhaps, in order to cover both poles of human experience (and thus everything in between them), these epic poets actually agreed to make their respective protagonists, Achilles and Odysseus, disagree. 
The self and social psychologies of affirmative and interrogative epics