Questions about the Iliad
1. How is the concept of the hero defined at the beginning of the Iliad? Being a hero is something that was very important in a man’s life. The way hero’s gained glory was from fighting on the battlefield by continuously putting his life at risk.
2. What are Agamemnon’s and Achilles’ respective claims to greatness? While Achilles claims to greatness is by one of the greatest skilled warrior on the battlefield. He takes pride in knowing that he can’t be beaten. Whereas Agamemnon isn’t as great of a warrior but is the king of Mycenae
3. What role does the Iliad give to the gods in the action of the poem? How are we to read their activities? Literally? Metaphorically? How does it affect your appreciation of the story? I personally didn’t take the poem too literal, but I do think it aids to understanding the story more clearly.
4. What is your impression of Achilles in comparison with other leading characters at this point in the narrative? Achilles was a very prideful man. He knew if he fought in the Trojan War he would die but he wanted his name to go down in history of him being the best warrior to ever live.
5. In moral terms, how do you evaluate the night raid of Diomedes and Odysseus in Book 10? What does Homer think? Does it fit the mood of rest of the narrative? In a sense Diomedes and Odysseus were cruel for killing Dolon because he told them about the position of the Trojans thinking his life would be spared but if he had been set free, who is to say he wouldn’t have went back to Hector and told him everything that just happened. I guess in a sense Diomedes and Odysseus were covering their tracks.
6. Think about the role of the gods in the fighting. Does it credit or discredit a hero to have a god’s help in battle, or neither? I think the gods definitely are beneficial to the heroes in helping them win battles.
7. What is the significance of the fact that Patroclus goes into battle wearing Achilles’ armor? Patroclus was wearing Achilles armor to represent that he was fighting as Achilles. Patroclus led his army of men and was fighting so well that the Trojan army thought that he was Achilles fighting. But Patroclus disobeyed Achilles orders by going after the Trojans instead of fighting long enough to save the ships from being defeated.
8. Why does the text describe in such detail the shield that Achilles receives from Hephaestus? How is the detail meaningful to the narrative? After Patroclus is killed Achilles mother Thetis ask Hephaestus to make him new armor. The shield represents a world outside the battlefield and that the war is only one aspect of life. It’s a keep sake to remember back home
9. Does the character of Achilles change in the Iliad? Achilles definitely had problems with controlling his temper very early on and was doing a little better with controlling himself until Patroclus was killed. After that he went back to fight in battle knowing that he would be killed which could be seen as him being noble.
10. Does the poem end in a satisfactory way? I think the poem had a decent ending. It did its job of giving a summary of who won the war. It let the readers know about the fall of Troy.