Weekly Journal 09/14
09/10/17 Reading for Class (2:00–6:00 PM)
Odysseus and Diomedes go spy on the Trojans. They encounter Dolon, a Trojan warrior. They promise Dolon’s life will be sparred if he gives information about the Trojans. If I was Dolon, I would not have been convinced because they have any reason to care about him. Odysseus and Diomedes learn of the Thracian camp. They slaughter the Thracians and steal their chariot that sends an important message to the Trojans.
Also, Odysseus and Diomedes do all these actions after nightfall. Generally, fighting ends when the sun set, like when Hector and Ajax stopped fighting in Book They did not fight in a respectful manner. Also, nightfall served as an element of surprise to kill the Thracians since they were sleeeping.
- Agamemnon stole Achilles’ prize, Briseis. After he made this decision, Achilles withdrew from battle. Agamemnon’s decision caused major loss of life and time wasted.
- Agamemnon did not go to Achilles in person and apologize for his wrongdoings. I believe that if Agamemnon humbled himself, Achilles would have gone back to the war.
- Agamemnon offered Achilles prizes if he returned to the war. His desperate attempt to get Achilles back was rejected as an insult. He basically tried to give Achilles a shut up gift. Achilles was only angered more. Achilles has great wealth already and Agamemnon should have appealed to him a different way.
- Agamemnon refusing to accept ransom and return Chryseis to her father. This action angered Apollo and sent a plague on the Achaians.
- Agamemnon tested his warriors morale. After Agamemnon was visited by a dream, he gathered his warriors and told them they were going to return home. He did not expect them to actually try to leave. He should not have tried to test exhausted people that have been fighting for 10 years.
- Agamemnon tells Menelaus that he has to kill Adrestos. This is important because the Trojans will know that the Achaians will not show any mercy towards them.
- Agamemnon rallies his soldiers during his aristeia. The morale of soldiers can be the difference between winning and losing a war. He realizes that he cannot win alone. It shows that he was conscious of others around him.
- Agamemnon sent others to message the warriors in the middle of the night. I think there would have been a bigger impact if he was the one to tell them to get ready to attack the Trojans. Since Menelaus did it, they listened to him as well.
- Agamemnon stayed awake and came up with a new strategy. This was a great decision because it shows that he is taking initiative. It shows the change in his leadership from the beginning of the poem. He is not as selfish as he once was.
Agamemnon was more heroic to me during his aristeia. They both were blood thirsty but Agamemnon helped motivate his comrades. Agamemnon had no mercy on the Trojans. The most notable difference is how their aristeias ended. Diomedes ended his aristeia by trading gift with a Trojan that he ties with through the hospitality of his grandfather. Agamemnon was injured and could no longer fight anymore. He even fought while injured for a period of time. Agamemnon was more heroic because Diomedes angered gods by striking them. On the other hand, there was more description about Agamemnon’s armor than his acts. During Diomedes aristeia, there was graphic description of the way he killed the Trojans. I think this happened to show that Agamemnon is worried about how he looks and is materialistic.
09/12/17 Class (11:10–12:30 PM)
At the beginning of class, journals that had good analysis of the Iliad were discussed. I never thought about the fact that not many women get the chance to speak and it is often not of substance. Andromache’s lament was the most important point of view in my opinion. Also, prosopopoeia was discussed because of the appeal Odysseus tried to make to Achilles. Prosopopoeia is the use of a person who is well respected to make an appeal to someone.
The rest of the class we discussed the differences between Agamemnon and Achilles.
- Both almost or do lose a companion. Agamemnon almost lost Menelaus. Achilles will lose Patroklos.
- Both have Aristeia. Achilles’ aristeia is greater because he feels menis towards Hector for killing Patriklos
- Agamemnon is concerned about his status more than Achilles. Achilles just wants to be known as the greatest warrior. Agamemnon worries about how his armor looks and how his story will be told after he is gone.
- Achilles actually like Briseis while Agamemnon views her as a bargaining chip or the result of a contract.
- They both receive appeals for ransom. Achilles will ransom people, while Agamemnon shows no mercy and pushes them out of supplication and kills them.
The shift of Agamemnon’s leadership was presented at the beginning of book 10. To be completely honest, I missed this observation when reading it at home. At the beginning of the poem, Agamemnon was not very vigilant but now he is restless worrying about the war. He leads a great charge against the Trojans until he is injured and can no longer fight anymore.
9/13/17 Reading for Class (8:00–11:30 PM)
I thought that Poseidon was on the Trojans side. So when he gives confidence and willpower to Ajax and the rest of the Achaians, I was surprised. His intervention was crucial because the Trojans were about to breech the trenches and come onto their ships.
In Book 13 lines 620–639, Menelaus basically had a melt down over Peisandros’ body . He tells the Trojans that they are going to lose and the war was their fault to begin with. Exhaustion has set in he is tried of fighting. He blames Zeus for not defending the Achaians. Zeus is the protector of guests and hosts. Paris violated hospitality when he took Helen away from Menelaus.
Towards the end of Book 13, Paris was said to be standing by cheering on the rest of the Trojans. I find it very cowardly that he is the cause of the war and stands by and does nothing to put the war to an end.
The Trojans see the eagle that comes down and rests on Ajax’s hand. The eagle confirms the promise that Zeus made to Agamemnon. The Trojans will not win and they were extremely fearful when they do the eagle. I would have given up before there was anymore bloodshed. Also, the Achaians would have killed them anyway because they were fighting for so long.
Idomeneus and Meriones is another relationship that should be analyzed. Meriones serves as a mentor to Idomeneus. There is a age between them that gives Meriones wisdom that he can instill in Idomeneus. There is a great bond between them.Their relationship is most like Achilles and Patriklos.
- Zeus meddles with both sides. He promised the Achaians that they would win. He aides the Trojans though. He warned Hector about Agamemnon. Zeus stops other gods from intervening on behalf of the Achaians.
- Hera supports the Achaians. She does everything to spite Zeus.
- Thetis is the Achilles’ mother so she was on his side. She supplicated to Zeus so Achilles could leave the war.
- Apollo supports the Trojans because he is upset with Agamemnon did not return Chyrseis to her father.
- Athena supports the Greeks. She is Hera’s right hand goddess. She rallies the Achaians when Agamemnon tried to test them. Also, she is upset with Aphrodite, so she goes against her.
- Aphrodite supports the Trojans. She was responsible for Paris not dying in battle. Paris picked her as the fairest and she will stand by his side through the entire war.
- Iris seems to be neutral. She is just following Zeus’ orders , so it may seem like she is on the Trojans side.
- Poseidon favored the Achaians. He was not pleased with the Achaians because they did not offer a sacrifice before they made trenches.His motivation was to spite his brother because of their rivalry. He began to petty the Achaians in book 13. He put bravery and the will to fight into the two Ajaxes.