Day Ten (September 21)
1. What do you feel is the proper reaction to the death of a friend? What is involved in the grieving process? In what ways has Homer prepared us for Achilles’ reaction to the death of Patroclus?
Having never lost a friend I personally do not have relevant knowledge as to the appropriate reaction to a death of a friend. That said, I think that the five stages of grief would be a good guide as to the appropriate response to a friend’s death. They are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Certainly, we see Achilles go through a few of these stages when he immediately and violently rips his clothing at the news of Patrokolos death. Additionally, we see him bargaining in wishing that he himself had been killed instead of his beloved friend. Then, as he enters his aristea we see his anger in his drive to avenge Patrokolos by killing Hector.
The Iliad prepares us for Achilles reaction to Patrokolos death through a number of events and circumstances. We are primed though seeing what happens to those when they die numerous times — The tripping of their armor and desecration of their bodies. In this, there is the initial sting of loss but also an immediate call to save ones brother in arms from being dishonored post mortem. He has also prepared us for Achilles reaction through his initial menis at Agamemnon taking his spear bride Brisies. It does so through showing the lengths Achilles will go to enact his revenge or rite the menis he feels. If one had to guess his reaction to Patrokolos death from his conflict with Agamemnon one thing would be especially clear: he isn’t likely to simply let it go.
There are numerous small clues as to Achilles reaction. Among them are Agamemnon’s response to Menelaus being shot with an arrow. In which, he was extremely concerned for his brother’s health which helps to plant the idea in our minds that these heroes are not immortal. We can also guess that Achilles reaction would be strong based on how close he was to Patrokolos. This can be seen when Agamemnon sends his envoy to bargain with Achilles to return to battle in which Patrokolos is with and is clearly his most trusted friend. All of these examples culminate to informing the reader about
Day Eleven (September 26)
1. Describe your feelings for Hector as the Iliad progresses. Make specific reference to earlier passages. Do you feel that he deserves to die at this point? Do you want to see Achilles kill him?
Firstly, I do not think that someone can earn the losing of their life. As a moral judgement, I do not think one action can be more deserving of death than another. I think that in terms of Hector being in a vulnerable position or contributing to the circumstances in which he will die one could say with certainty, yes. Hector has made himself a target for the Greeks through his continual martial success despite the odds being against him. This can be seen when he pushes the Greeks back to their ships and when he kills many minor heroes in battle. This of course leads to him killing Patrokolos which becomes the nail in his coffin.
I personally felt bad for Hector. He is seemingly caught in the middle — torn between his duty as a prince and brother in a war he knows he cannot win. His character seems informed by his impending doom, making more and more reckless decisions as the epic goes on. It is almost as though he accepts his death or even wants it. We are clued into this from his conversation with his wife Andromache when he says he would rather die than see her taken in chains. His recklessness is first seen when he fights Ajax and only survives with the help of Apollo. I saw this as reckless because he is the leader and greatest hero of the Trojan army yet he risks his life against that of a strong, but seemingly unimportant character in dueling Ajax. He continues to show recklessness when he pushes the Greeks far from the wall instead of fighting close to it — taking a win where he could find it. Instead he lights there ships ablaze which, prompts Patrokolos out to fight. Here is where I felt that Hector really lost it. He not only kills Patrokolos in a cowardly manor but he mocks his death and strips his armor making a seen about his triumph. It is almost as if he knew his role in the epic and the finality of it drove him mad. For with this action he elicits Achilles menis and seals his fate knowing he was born to die.
Thursday, September 21, 11:10 am — 12:30 Class Notes
1. The Iliad is an exploration of what it means to be your best or aristos.
- What can I do to be the best me?
- I think that being the best me would look like making steps towards, or finding success in what fulfills me. I feel that we constantly have to ask ourselves what we are doing on a day to day basis which pushes us towards are goals and aspirations. Once we identify what is moving us closer it should be even easier to identify what isn’t contributing to our goals.
2. What do you put at stake to become the best?
- I think that I try really hard to keep what is important to me from being sacrificed but at times it cannot be helped. I think as a working student who supports them-self I often have to make concessions in order to survive. Like working late shifts or picking up inconvenient jobs on the weekend in order to pay bills. Everything has a ripple effect and often health and relationships suffer for school and work in this season of my life.
3. What does it mean to have the most fulfilled life?
For me, the most fulfilled life would be one in which I have meaningful relationships in addition to fulfilling my “why” to make a measurable impact on the world. My “why” is to address the wealth gap in the United States for those of low SES through policy. I’m sure that with time my why will shift or change but right now these things would make me feel as though I lived a meaningful life.
5. What is not worth sacrificing?
When I think of the things that I couldn't see myself sacrificing I think of my relationships and my morals. I feel as a young person today, there isn't much choice in having to devote yourself entirely to your profession. I feel like for most careers sacrifice is the only way to stand out. I think that I am fine sacrificing things like free time that only impacts me but when it comes to my relationships I don’t feel like I’m the kind of person who cares more about s career than having a life full of multifaceted meaning beyond the workplace.
Sunday, September 24, 11:00 am — 1:30 pm Read Book 18–20
Tuesday, September 26, 11:10 am — 12:30 pm Class Notes
Identify your favorite character in the Iliad
-Even though we don’t see or even hear about Patrokolos and how he interacts with the other characters that much outside of his death. It is clear in his death that those around him think very highly of him. They think he is an honorable person who’s actions show through to everyone. We even see this in the eyes of the hero of the story Achilles.
Why are you the kind of person who would find this character interesting or likable?
- I think that at the end of life the only thing you really have is your name. What people thought of you and what you put out into the world. I think that Patrokolos is a shining example of someone who touched a lot of people in a positive way. I think that I would consider my life a great success if I was able to garner the respect and adoration of others, however small the circle in a similar way to Patrokolos.
What my partner said about my choice
- You make sacrifices for others and don’t get the credit
- You don’t ask for favors in return but expect to be treated the same as you treat others
- You are very loyal to others and don’t always feel that others are as loyal in return.
While Sidney did not guess the exact reasons for why I chose Patrokolos she actually unearthed more about why I chose him than I was even able to see. The things she brought up were so spot on for my personality that it couldn't have been a coincidence. I thought it was just about who Patrokolos was and what about him I strove for. What I feel like I found out was some immediate characteristics that I felt in I had in common.
Why theychose Helen
- You make a big impact — have a big personality and don’t like to be told “no”
- Have a “my way or the highway mentality,” aren’t scared of conflict and does what needs to be done.
- Like Helen, you aren’t afraid to mix things up or make big choices with wide and longterm effects.
Wednesday, September 27, 9:00 am — 10:00 am Read Book 21
Wednesday, September 27, 1:00 pm — 4:30 pm Answered Study Questions