Journal 1

August 25th Thursday: 9pm-12am ( 3 hours)

Today we discussed the Intro to the Iliad and learned a few Greek terms such as menis, klaos, eris, and the muse. So far we discussed that Achilles MENIS(anger) leads him and the Danaas to utter chaos and major ERIS (conflict) with the Trojans. We’ve also learned that Agamemnon lives for KLEOS (glory) which ultimately makes him a big jerk (well in my opinion). The Muse serves as poets channeling the past, which are usually goddesses.

Along with some key terms, we learned “The Judgement of Paris” led to Helen’s demise or what some would argue, new found love. Paris had to choose between three goddesses in order for one to receive the golden apple. Athena was the goddess of wisdom who granted the greatest distinction of war. Hera was the goddess of royal sovereignty, that granted leadership or appoints a King, and Aphrodite grants love. We were asked in class which goddess would choose. Instantly I picked Athena and ironically her traits and signature image was similar to the Virgo. I’m pretty involved with astrology and I loved the similarities the Virgo and Athena shared. For instance, Athena was the goddess of wisdom but her wisdom was associated with weaving. As Dr. Sandrige explained to us, weaving involves thinking critically and strategy, as well as the Virgo. I am also a Virgo and I’ve come across many people who describe me as a wise person. My friends describe me as an old lady because I don’t think on impulse, I’m usually the one thinking of our safety and security wherever we are. I found the comparison to be very insightful.

Tonight I read the Illiad Book 1 and already the chaos has begun. I can say, a Greek tragedy will never be boring or too difficult to comprehend. From Book 1 I can certainly tell that Achilles is a very emotional man and Agamemnon is a total diva. Book 1 had showed such a great contrast between the two characters and much of Achilles menis. Achilles seems to be much more focused on losing his prized possession, Briseis, while Agamemnon is more focused on kleos. For instance, on line 352–354, he explains to his mother that “…Now the son of Atreus, powerful Agamemnon, has dishonored me, since he has taken away my prize and keeps it” In these same lines we can see that Achilles values respect and loyalty and what Agamemnon did can be compared to taking candy away from a baby, or cheating on a loved one. Yes, it is was that heartbreaking to Achilles and he shows that loyalty means a lot to him. On the other hand, Agamemnon easily shows that he values his self interest over anything. Even Achilles says to him, “O wrapped in shamelessness, with your mind forever on profit” (line 149).

If we were to ask Achilles and Agamemnon what kind of they person they were I think it would also reflect some similarities between Achilles and Agamemnon. Based off Achilles actions and emotions I would think Achilles would view himself as an strong honest man. He would explain himself to be a man of his word and of loyalty as well a confident warrior. I say this because I could see in Book 1 he wasn’t afraid to kill Agamemnon and express to Agamemnon how he did a dishonorable act or as I would say, disobey the bro code. I think Agamemnon would describe himself as a wise, well respected man. Since he is king we can identify in Book 1 that he overly confident and wants to be praised. He turns down Chryses offer of gifts and spoils just to prove how much power he has over giving Chryses’s daughters back. I think Agamemnon would view himself as a God since he even considered to against the Gods demands to give back Chryseis.

After thinking about what Agamemnon and Achilles values are I decided to ask my boyfriend how does he determine the worth of a human or the value of a person. As much as he didn’t want to admit it, in so many words he said trust determines the worth of a person to him. He thought that trying to determine the value of a person was impossible to do but when I gave him hypothetical situations, I could see that personal relationships seemed to be a big factor for him. I asked him who would be more important you, a homeless woman with children or an elderly man with no family. I noticed he immediately jumped to associating himself with the elderly man possibly being his friend or a coworker. He established a relationship with the person to place a value on him. While I did argue that it was mean to forget about the homeless women with children, he said to me, “Well I don’t think I would know a homeless women with children” which made me realize in his mind, there should be a level of communication and establishment to prove their worth.

August 29th Monday: 12pm-1pm; 7pm-10pm (4 hours)

Today I visited the National Art Gallery and I had so much fun! I knew I had a mission to accomplish but I couldn’t help taking so many pictures. Out of all the pictures I took I chose the top 3 that spoke to me on the power of love.

“The Coronation of the Virgin” by Agnolo Gaddi illustrates the love between a King and a Queen, specifically God and Virgin Mary. In this painting the smiles exchanged between Mary and Christ reveal the honor Mary feels. The people below them who are in awe also reveals this love is a genuine joy for Mary. The love conquers the status of Mary and shows how joyous of an occasion this is.

This sculpture is titled, “ Bacchus and a Faun” and the artist is unknown. In this sculpture, the man is holding grapes or what can be referred as Bacchus with a boy beside him. As the boy looks up to the man and the Bacchus he seems happy. In my opinion this sculpture addresses a family love between the man and the boy. I would think the man found a great bunch of grapes and the boy seems to admire the man’s discovery. I think the love between the boy and the man could have led the man to try pick the best grapes possible. In this case this relationship and love conquered the grapes. (As strange as that sounds)

This painting was one of my personal favorites! Illustrated by Thomas Cole, titled,“The Voyage of Life: Old Age” shows the relationship between an angel and an elderly man. This picture reveals the love and trust for this angel can lead him to a brighter path. He is surrounded by darkness, which can also be viewed as negativity or bad spirits, but the angel seems to be guiding him to the light or ultimately to heaven. In this picture, love conquered darkness.

While this painting is the opposite of love, I just had to share it because it is so powerful! I also thought it was exciting that this painting was called, “Oedipus Cursing His Son, Polynices” which gave me chills! The rich colors and the intense emotions can also be recognized in Greek tragedy.

Tonight I read Books 2–4 and the plot certainly seems to progress to a lot of violence. In Book 2 we are introduced to more Daanan characters as well, such as Telemonaus, known as strongest Daanan. We are also introduced to “Diomedes of the great war cry” (line 567). We are also introduced to Odysseus sweet speech and recognize his gift of gab. Homer does illustrate the Trojans well in his long poem towards the end of Book 2, which reveal some of the strongest Trojans.

August 30th, Tuesday: 7am-10am (3 hours)

This morning I woke up early to read book 5 before class and I can say Diomedes is surely the man of the great war cry!

2. In my opinion, the term hero is a person who protects somebody or something from harm or evil. The typical hero usually doesn’t kill the enemy, only impairs the enemy from harming others. A typical hero also saves people and provides security for those in need. A hero could wear a uniform, like a solider or a fireman. A hero is not limited to any type of look, realistically a hero could be anyone! I believe that a hero’s values are seeing other people happy and alive. Heroes have hard jobs because they are fighting and protecting a person’s life. With this mind I would argue that a hero values life and existing, not just for himself/herself but for everyone. There are many poems that recognize the heroes of the Civil Rights era. I consider the advocates like Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, and Robert Williams to be some of the bravest heroes during this era. Bravery and selflessness led to some of the biggest changes in American, poetry has helped honored such heroes for their traits and activism.

3. In Book 5 it seemed Diomedes had a field day with his spear on the battle ground. I found his “heroism” to be reckless and quite the opposite of being a protector from evil. He was killing everyone in sight, including children (something I don’t find heroic). On top of this he disobeyed Athene’s command and tried to battle Apollo. His actions showed that he did not value life and he wasn’t selfless in this battle. So I believe Diomedes is not a hero.