Homer's Iliad: Gore, Glory, Gods and Wrath

126 TUTOR: TO BE ARRANGED

 

 

The Iliadis the oldest work in the Western canon, a daunting poem both in length and subject: glorious warriors, death and dying, valor and defeat. Most people have not read it but have heard that it's "about the Trojan War. Homer asks the Muse to tell the story of one man's anger and its terrible consequences. But what really is Achilles so angry about?

Perhaps as a man special among men, but ultimately just human, the answer is obvious. As some like to say, "It's a classic for a reason. I'd say truly that no one should read the Iliad without being forever changed.


 

 

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126
3 PM
 
PM course
 
£295.00
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Course Notes

The Iliad is longer than the Odyssey, and most people find that it more alien in some ways,

harder to relate to as modern people. All of us will have the same unabridged text, and we'll

read selections of the poem aloud during class, in the manner the original was meant to be

experienced. While the course does not require students to have the read the Iliad before, it

might certainly be helpful to pick up a translation and try to know something of the poem

before attending the course. Notes, hand-outs, plot summaries, and a complete edition of the

Robert Fagles translation of the poem will be provided for all students.

 

Day 1: Book 1

What is an Epic? What is oral formulaic poetry? What is the Heroic Code? The main characters. The beginning: the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon.

 

Day 2: Books 3 & 6

Helen and Paris; the view from Troy; Hector and his family

 

Day 3: Books 9 & 11

A failed embassy to Achilles; a fateful day of battle

 

Day 4: Books 16, 18, & 22

Bad decisions all around; Achilles' very bad idea; Hector's even worse idea

 

Day 5: Books 22 (con.) & 24

Universal sorrows, funerals, reconciliations, and a kind of peace, or acceptance at least

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