Freedom and Death is Kazantzakis's modern Iliad. The context is Crete in the late nineteenth century, the epic struggle between Greeks and Turks, between Christianity and Islam. A new uprising takes place to rival those of 1854, 1866 and 1878, and the island is thrown into confusion yet again. In the village of Megalokastro a Cretan resistance fighter, Captain Michales, is matched by the Turkish bey, his blood-brother. The life of the local community continues shakily, but is disrupted by explosions of violence.