Respond to two of the following in two specifically written essays citing support from the text. To write specifically, back up your assertions with references to the text.
- From the first line of the Iliad, Homer pairs Achilles with menis, which we have seen is not just anger but rage, frustration, despondency, and at its extreme a variety of madness.
Cite ONE example of each of these varieties of menis in Achilles and consider whether they can account for the actions of Achilles in his reception of Priam and his compliance with Priam’s request.
- The aristeia is a frequent epic device in the Iliad. These “best moments” of the warriors seem orchestrated to begin with that of Diomedes, which features his encounter with Glaucus, and end with that of Achilles as he avenges the death of Patroclus. Those in between are shorter but more brutal.
What does the arrangement of the aristeiai indicate about the state ongoing Trojan War? Does the chaos of the battlefield reflect on how the warriors behave during their moments of greatness?
- Soldiers of our own wars sometimes return from battle with conditions categorized variously as “shell shock,” “battle fatigue,” or “post-traumatic stress disorder.” Despite increasingly technical classifications, the condition seems much the same.
Do you believe Achilles suffers from this condition? What symptoms might you offer as evidence?
- The Iliad begins with the return of Chryses to Chryseis and ends with the return of Hector’s corpse to Priam. This cannot be accidental. It shows the careful editing of Aristarchus and Zenodotus.
Find ONE other parallel of the many that appear in the poem and specifically consider in what ways it contributes to the effectiveness of the poem.
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