CL106/EN106 Week 3:


Homer, Iliad, books 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 24:


note: read summaries of books 10-14, 17, 20, 21 and 23


1. More on the mechanics of the poem:

a. The people in the Iliad seem to talk a lot. Why do you think the poem is written in this way? What would be lost if the long speeches were eliminated?

b. Since the Iliad is a poem about the waging of war, and poetry is supposed to be aesthetic, what is aesthetic about the battle scenes in the Iliad?

c. Do you think the intended audience of the Iliad regularly fought in combat? What in the poem makes you think this?

d. How does the description of Akhilleus' new shield in book 18 fit into the Iliad as a whole?


2. Patroklos and Akhilleus:

a. Contrast Patroklos and Akhilleus.

b. To judge from what you have read in the poem, what was the earlier relationship between Patroklos and Akhilleus?


3. The denouement:

a. Contrast Akhilleus and Hektor as they are portrayed in their final combat.

b. Contrast Akhilleus' treatment of Hektor's body after the battle with his treatment of Priam.

c. In theory the Iliad could have stopped at any point in the Trojan-War story. Why does it end where it does?

d. Is the Iliad about anything else besides war and fighting? If it is, what is it about?