Great Books I   Fall 2019

The Iliad

"How much does pride cost?"

Paper #1 - Due October 4, 11:59 p.m.

Tragic Hero Definition


  September 9

Books I-IV

Who behaves more properly in the dispute?

What are the rules of proper conduct?

Can we blame humans for their actions?

Explain IV:43-58

September 12

Books V-VIII

Bring five pennies to class.

Look up the Greek word "aristeia" on the web and formulate its definition in your own words.

Find examples of aristeia in The Iliad.  Describe how it manifests itself and what it brings about.

Begin to form the list:  “The rules of war/warrior include…” Who upholds each rule? Who breaks them?

Who gives the strongest argument for Hector to remain in Troy?

Find text that characterizes each god.

September 16

Books IX-XII

Bring an Examination Book for an in-class writing exercise.

We will watch another segment of "Troy".

What is Homer teaching us in providing so much detail of each individual battle in the poem?

Reread the account of Zeus' cable and scales in Book VIII. What are we to learn about Zeus, the other gods, and Greek Cosmology?

Which side has a more compelling response/behavior in the Embassy to Achilles?

Continue to develop the warrior code.






  September 19


Develop a list of god/mortal personifications. Determine which human best personifies each of the gods.

What does Sarpedon's corpse symbolize?

Write an obituary & eulogy for Patroclus. Is his death tragic?

What is the relationship between the gods and fate?


September 23


Why does Achilles decide to re-enter the war?

In what way do each of the following characters demonstrate the ebb and flow of the war:  Achilles, Hector, Agamemnon, gods.

What part of Achilles' personality does Patroclus represent?

What does Patroclus' corpse symbolize?

What is the symbolism of Achilles' loss of armor to Patroclus?



September 26


What is the complete code of the warrior?

Who matches this code better - Hector or Achilles?

Who is the greater hero, Hector or Achilles?

What does the river symbolize in Book XXI?

What line or group of lines best summarizes the entire poem?

Why is the ending perfect?

What lesson does Priam teach Achilles?