Thursday, August 31st 11:o0–12:30 At the beginning of this class session we took a quiz. We had to list the names of five gods and/or goddesses and also the names of five warriors. I believe I did fairly well and was able to recall ten characters for my list. After the quiz we began to go over the reading which was books 5 of the Iliad. In this part of the story Diomedes receives aristeia from Athena. He received some kind of super strength but was told not to go after any gods except Aphrodite but Diomedes attacks Aphrodite and Ares and then tries to go after Apollo. I believe that Athena allowing him to attack Aphrodite was petty but I also believe it was the reason Diomedes did not listen to Athena and challenged more gods. He was too fearless and too strong with the aristeia.
Thursday, August 31st 5:00–6:30 While in my room I read books six and seven of the Iliad. Reading the Iliad is a little difficult, I have to make sure that I am not rushing through the story and am comprehending everything. I am also not sure I am interested enough in reading it, even though the story has been quite interesting. In this book (6)the god, Ares is no longer fighting with the Trojans so the Achaeans have the upper hand again; they focus on killing as many Achaeans as possible. Book seven was a little frustrating for me because Apollo and Athena decide to end the battle for the night by influencing Hector to challenge someone to a duel. Ajax accepts the challenge, and draws blood from Hector, after that happens Zeus jumps in to stop the duel, claiming he loves them both. So far the gods have been pretty ruthless and they have had a big hand in the war. So I don’t understand why Zeus stopped the battle or even his justification for stopping it. They will both still be at war and could get killed in the long run. I’m not saying that he shouldn’t have stopped the duel, it’s just how the gods choose to be involved can be contradictory to their previous involvement. And in that same book Zeus gives Poseidon permission to knock down the wall the Achaeans put up for protection. The saying “All is fair in love and war” takes on a totally different meaning in this story since the gods are involved.
Friday, September 1st 1:00–2:00 A lot of sentiments I felt when reading book 6 and 7 came back when reading book8. Zeus tells all the gods they are not to be involved anymore and then immediately turns around and gets involved. He strucks the Achaeans with lightning and plans to keep harming them until Achilles comes back to fight with them. I think that is a pretty cutthroat plan to get Achilles back and because he is a god I believe there would be a simpler way to do so, but what do I know? When Hera and Athena try to get involved to help the Achaeans he threatens them with serious consequences.
Saturday, September 2nd 11:00–12:00 I focused this study time on answering the question about Hector and Andromache’s relationship.
How does Hector’s relationship with Andromache compare to the other male-female relationships so far in the Iliad, especially Achilles-Briseis and Paris-Helen? How does it compare with other male-male relationship, like the one between Menelaus and Agamemnon?
The biggest difference I see in Hector and Andromache’s relationship versus Achilles-Briseis and Paris-Helen’s relationships are love. Andromache pleading with Hector to leave the battle shows great care and love, and the way Hector interacts with his young son shows that he cares for his family which is in complete contrast to the ownership that I see in the too other relationships. I don’t think they care about the women as women, I believe they care about the women as property. Paris literally took Helen as a gift from Aphrodite, and according to Helen he’s not even a good husband. Because of this, I find it so strange that many people blame Helen for the war. It does not seem as if Helen wants either Paris or Menelaus but they do not care about that. After the war going on for so many years, it’s about male egos, who wins and who gets the girl. If the really valued the women they could simply ask Helen who she wanted to be with, but that’s not enough. If Helen chose, I believe they would still rage war because of their egos.
Sunday September 3rd 4:00–5:30The gods are way too involved in the war, involved to the point where they might as well be fighting it too. Different gods keep helping different sides and I wonder why they will not just end the war since they can be such a huge part of it. If fate is fate, things should turn out the way they are planned to turn out without their involvement, if they are controlling the fates of the people couldn’t they just watch it happen without manipulating it so much?
Make a list of five things the gods have done so far to influence the events in the Iliad. What have been their motives for their influence? Do you see the gods as “good,” “bad,” or beyond morality? Explain your answer.
- Apollo bringing a plague down on the Achaeans— the motive during this instance was to punish them for not giving Chyrseis back to Chryses. Apollo felt Menis in this moment and instead of just punishing Agamemnon, he attacked his whole side which is a little extreme, or a lot extreme really. But again Agamemnon should have returned Chryseis back to her father.
- Diomedes receiving aristeia from Athena- Diomedes received this aristeia after being wounded. I believe that Athena allowing him to go after Aphrodite was petty. Athena and Hera should both get over themselves because Aphrodite won fair and square, though it was not fair to Helen. Plus they are goddesses so it seems very trivial.
- Zeus weighing the fates of both sides and then attacking the Achaeans- Zeus called for all the gods to stop being involved and then went and got more involved. I believe this was unfair to the Achaens because fate is fate. Zeus weighed their fates and could have allowed it to play out naturally like he ordered the rest of the gods to do.
- Ares fighting on the Trojan side- Ares fighting with the Trojans gave them the upper hand during that time. Once Ares was gone the Achaens then had the upper hand. It seems as if whenever the Gods get involved the Trojans are better.
- Zeus showing favor to the Trojans for Achilles and Thetis- Zeus got involved in this instance because he owed Thetis a favor, not really because he wanted to show any side favor.
I suppose the gods are beyond morality because they are gods. They can’t necessarily be stopped and they do have control over many things, so it makes sense that they would have to do things, both good and bad, right and wrong to keep the proper balance. BUT as a human, they do have overwhelmingly human tendencies, attitudes and behaviors and because of this they do not seem beyond morality at all. Of course, I do not think you can call them bad or good just as there is no definitive answer on whether humans are inherently bad or good. The gods are petty, and jealous, and their acts of menis are extreme. I do believe that the act of menis is bad and unfair but their is really nothing the people can do about that. Their is really nothing humans can do to gods except honor them which begs the question, should people have the right to protect themselves from the gods? Do the gods have too much power to ever be JUST good? Accepting the gods as being “beyond morality” may be the only way to actually believe and trust in the gods, if not wouldn’t they just be scary?
Tuesday, September 5th 11:00–12:30 In this class discussion we talked about the conversations that Hector had with three women. Those women were his mother, his wife and Helen. In class someone suggested that Helen may be into Hector. That was a pretty interesting point because why would she discuss with Hector how much she dislikes Paris and since she dislikes Paris so much, why not just go back to Menelaus?
Wednesday, September 6th 8:00–9:00 I spent this hour going over my journal. The journal has proven to be a little difficult. It is a little hard to reach the seven minutes just because I do not believe that I am understanding enough as I am reading. But I also do not prefer to read on electronic devices, I find that actual books make me feel more connected to the story.