Defining the Epic Hero: Achilles is often depicted as the quintessential œepic hero. If Achilles is our model, what might we see as the strengths and weaknesses of the epic hero?
Community in The Iliad: Though much of The Iliad concentrates on the soldiers who are battling outside Troy’s walls, there are significant parts of our reading that take place within the city or within the Greek camp, and show those soldiers in the context of their own communities. Choose one figure, Trojan or Greek, and explain how he seems to fit in his community. What role does he play in relation to other people on his side of the conflict?
The Epic and Orality: The oldest extant copy of Homer’s Iliad is from the 10th century CE, but there are recorded mentions of the poem as early as about the 5th century BCE. 20th century scholars have theorized that for much of its existence, the poem may well have been an oral work, not a written one. How might experiencing it as a sung or recited performance change our perception of the work?
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