Thursday, December 3, 2009


Final Exam: The Iliad Criticism
Reference the epic poem The Iliad and respond to the question below.
Wallace Gray writes that, “The Iliad is not about the Trojan War; that war lasted ten years and the central actions of the poem occupy only a few weeks. War brutalizes men and women, wounds their bodies and minds, enslaves and kills them. This is Homer's message as he focuses on one hero, Achilleus, to demonstrate wrath's destruction of self and others. Achilleus' moral journey in the Iliad brings him face to face with his own humanity, leading him to a startling and essentially unheroic act of generosity toward his enemy. When he gives Priam the dead and mutilated body of Hektor, ...”

Is Achilles a hero? Respond to this criticism by: (1) addressing his heroic qualities/ alignment with studied heroic elements; (2) addressing his unheroic qualities (think of the aspects of heroes we’ve studied in class); and (3) compare him SPECIFICALLY to one of the other heroes/heroines in The Iliad or another myth we have studied. Reaction? Thoughts? This makes me think…? Etc…?