Yet the number people incarcerated bears little relation to the actual rate of crime in the US. Between 1980 and 2008, the rates of both violent and property crime stayed the same, while the prison population skyrocketed. Much of the growth has occurred because more non-violent offenders are getting locked up, for longer periods of time. “Bond(s)” is defined in Section 7.1 of the Construction Agreement. “Books and Records” is defined in Section 11.1. “Cancellation Payment” is defined in Section 20.2. This is the story about how Theodore Roosevelt inspired the creation of the 'teddy bear'. Created for an elementary school classroom.
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Iliad, Study-guide for Books 1 - 24
LANG 350--Classical Mythology
Books 1 to 4 of the Iliad trace the events from the breaking out of thequarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon to the first combat on thebattlefield. Though we are in the tenth year of the Trojan War, theseencounters are the most violent that have taken place since the Greeksarrived.
Book 1 is one of the most carefully developed pieces ofstory-telling ever. It lays out the basis for the destructivefalling-out between the two leading Greek heroes: Achilles, themost skillful combatant, and Agamemnon, the commander of thecombined forces of the Greeks.
Book 1 Brief opening.
Chryses, the priest of Apollo, comes to Agamemnon to ask for thereturn of his daughter, Chryseis. Agamemnon sends him awayempty-handed.
The priest calls on Apollo for help, who sends a plague toafflict the Greeks.
Achilles calls an assembly to discover the cause of theplague.
The soothsayer, Calchas reluctantly, but with assurance ofprotection from Achilles, reveals the cause: Agamemnon's takingof Chryseis.
Agamemnon agrees to give up his own woman, but insists on takingAchilles's as compensation.
Achilles will have Agamemnon's head before he will consent tothis. But before he can act on this impulse, the goddess Athenadramatically appears to him alone, in the midst of the assembledtroops, and advises him against this violence. So, Achillesdecides to withdraw from the fighting and prays that Greek lossesbecome so severe in his absence that Agamemnon is forced torecognize his importance to a Greek victory. His mother, Thetis,will represent him to the father of gods and men, Zeus.
On Olympus Zeus and Hera quarrel over Zeus's concession toThetis. The dynamics of their relationship speaks to the natureof his authority, which, in the end, is supreme, but not withoutchecks. What are the limiting factors in Zeus's use of his powerand authority?
The quarrel becomes heated when Hera accuses Zeus of not takingsufficient interest in the Greeks. Zeus accuses her of meddlingand doing so without having all the facts of the matter. Theirfight ends when Zeus threatens her with violent force. Hephaestussteps in to remind Hera of the futility of challenging herhusband and brings up an earlier occasion when he intervened inher behalf and was thrown down from the sky, suffering an injurywhich resulted in the limp he still bears. The gods turn tofeasting, and Hephaestus, scrambles awkwardly about servingeveryone and provoking laughter.
A night of banqueting comes to a close, and so does Book 1, asthe gods retire to their beds, and Hera, once again, sleepsalongside her husband.
Book 1: The Quarrel
Why does Agamemnon respond so threateningly to the priest ofApollo? Why does Agamemnon give up his concubine, Chryseis? Whydoes he take Achilles's? Why is this such an outrage toAchilles? What action against Agamemnon does Achilles contemplatebefore he decides to withdraw from the fighting?
Apollo, Athena, Zeus, Hera, and Hephaestus all play roles in Book1. What types of human activities attract the attention of thegods? What does this say about the magnitude of thoseactivities?
Note also how Homer attends to the social and political dynamicsof events. Who is present when Agamemnon and Achilles have theirquarrel? Would this quarrel have erupted if they were the onlytwo present? Compare the conversations between Zeus and Thetis,in private, and between Zeus and Hera, before the other Olympiangods. Would Zeus have even entertained Thetis' request, had shemade it in the presence of the other gods? Would Zeus havereacted as violently toward Hera if she hadn't pressed him beforeother gods? Notice how even after she shows deference to him byusing the respectful terms of address--'Dread majesty, son ofCronus'--when she disingenuously proceeds to lay out, in thepresence of all, details of his pact with Thetis, Zeus becomesfurious.
Quarrels & Reconciliations
There is a quarrel of Book 1 that will not conclude until thefinal books of the poem. There are other quarrels as well in Book1 which are brought to some resolution even before the book isout: Chryses and Agamemnon part in anger over the ransom of thepriest's daughter; and Zeus and Hera mix it up over theOlympian's pact with Thetis. To what extent are these quarrelsconcluded? Are they concluded peacefully?
From an artistic or dramatic point of view, what is the benefitof including the lesser quarrels in this book?
While Olympian gods and mortals sleep, Zeus is pondering how toget the Greeks back to the battlefield following the pause begunby the plague in Book 1. A dream is sent to Agamemnon, whodecides to rouse the troops and test their resolve by invitingthem to return home. The scheme backfires and the troops jump upand run for their ships. Only with the help of Athena, isOdysseus able to bring them back to the assembly where they hearspeeches encouraging them to fight.
As the troops and their leaders assemble and get ready for thediscussion, a particularly offensive member continues to carryon, singling out Agamemnon for special criticism. This isThersites (THUR-si-teez), 'the ugliest man who ever came toTroy.' He accuses Agamemnon of greed and blames him for theirtroubles. His railing is met with a blow on the back by Odysseus,who slaps him with the scepter--the staff held by the one inauthority, or who has the floor, at an assembly--sending him offin tears, as the troops laugh at his hideous condition.
Thersites's criticisms do not sound so very different fromAchilles's and we may wonder why he is dealt with so harshly byOdysseus, apparently with no sympathy from the troops, or Homerfor that matter. A partial explanation must lie in the roleplayed by the protocol of the assemblies. In other assembliesdescribed in the Iliad, the generals and elderly Greeks, nevercommon soldiers, address the troops. This was surely forpractical reasons, but became a convention. Assemblies are calledto order by someone in authority as well. The issues areaddressed and discussion ensues. Thersites is in violation of allthese. No rank is mentioned that would warrant his participationhere. He does not have any special expertise or informationeither. It is especially significant that Odysseus strikes himdown with the historic scepter given to Agamemnon's family. Theuse Odysseus makes of it raises an interesting question. Of allthe things that might have represented authority in an assembly,was a staff chosen because it was useful to literally shut upone's adversary in debate?
So, before we are quick to sympathize with him for hisunfortunate looks, we need to consider what Homer says aboutThersites's behavior and how it reveals his character. His looksmay only be the outward evidence of an internal offensiveness.
Why does Odysseus treat Thersites so harshly? How are Thersites'scomments about Agamemnon different from Achilles's? How do theother warriors respond to Thersites's remarks?
Why the long list of cities represented in the catalogue ofships? What effect would hearing mention of your city have onyou, if you were in the audience listening to a recital of thispoem? How does the catalogue contribute to the Panhellenicquality of the work?
Book 2 ends with the catalogue of Trojans and their allies,complementing the preceding, and much longer, catalogue ofGreeks. In fact, the last two warriors mentioned are Sarpedon andGlaucus, at the head of the forces from Lycia. Glaucus willfigure importantly in the action at the opening of Book 6 andtheir conversation before combat in Book 12 says much about theircommitment to the ideals of heroism.
Book 3 opens with a face-off between the assembled troops of bothsides, anxious for combat. Paris steps out from the body ofTrojan troops to taunt the Greeks, when Menelaus sees him andleaps down from his chariot to take him on. When Paris withdrawsinto the troops, Hector reproaches him for cowardice and hedecides to invite Menelaus to a contest that promises to decidethe outcome of the War once and for all. If Paris wins, Helenstays with him and the Greeks go home without furtherconflict; if Menelaus wins, Helen returns with him to Sparta. Ineither case, Troy and Greece will be spared further injury andpotential destruction over the matter of Helen.
As preparations are being made, Helen learns of the contest andcomes out onto the city wall of Troy to watch. How do the old menof Troy respond to her presence? How does Priam regard her? Isthere blame of her for the losses to Troy? She is described ashaving 'terrible beauty.' How does this quality compare withHesiod's description of Pandora in the Works and Days?
Why do the gods intervene to rescue Paris from single combat withMenelaus? What is the outcome of this divine intervention forParis? How does his character compare with other heroes in thepoem?
At the close of the book, in just two lines, Homer takes usabruptly from Paris's bed, where he is enjoying the company ofHelen, to the battlefield, where Menelaus is fuming, exasperatedas he looks for his opponent who has vanished before everyone'seyes. Even the Trojans are angry with the disappearance ofParis. Agamemnon cries foul and demands the immediate return ofHelen, and his troops shout in agreement.
Consider the descriptions of fighting in these books. How graphicare the descriptions of fighting, wounding and death? Whatsimiles does Homer use to describe the behavior of combatants?
The Age of Heroes
Homer does not want to suggest that these characters are walkingthe streets of his hometown today. The events of the Iliad takeplace in another age, before his own, when heroes were alive andthe gods had frequent interaction with them. Some of the maincharacteristics of this time are described by Hesiod in his Works& Days:And Zeus fashioned a fourth race
To live off the land, juster and nobler,
The divine race of Heroes, also called
Demigods, the race before the present one.
They all died fighting in the great wars,
. . . .
And some, crossing the water in ships,
Died at Troy, for the sake of beautiful Helen.
(trans. S. Lombardo)How are the characters of the Iliad 'juster and nobler'? How doesthis portrait of heroes in general serve as important backgroundto the quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles? What are theindications that their 'divine race' is more important to thegods?
What other characteristics of this age can you find in theIliad? How does Homer show it to be a time apart from his, andour, own?
Thinking about images of violence
Some critics of current movies argue that graphic scenes ofviolence promote violence, while others argue the opposite,saying that, if the consequences of these acts are included, filmviolence may actually have the opposite effect and discourageviewers from such action.
Do Homer's descriptions of combat glorify violence? Does Homershow more sympathy for the conqueror or the victim? How biased isHomer, a Greek, toward the Greeks in these descriptions? Is therea difference when the conqueror or victim is Greek and when he isTrojan?
What is the connection between the prospect of death andheroism? Are the heroes of the Iliad troubled by thoughts ofdeath?
Diomedes, the Greek hero, with Athena's support, enjoys a day ofremarkable successes on the battlefield. He even manages to woundthe goddess Aphrodite as she rescues her son, the Trojan Aeneas,from him. Later, with the help of Athena, Diomedes will wound thegod Ares.
It is clear that although Zeus has agreed to help Thetis byletting the Trojans press the Greeks, other gods remain behindtheir Greek favorites and have not yet allowed the plan to beimplemented decisively.
What is the divine response to Diomedes' violence againstgods? Is he punished for impiety? What is Zeus's attitude towardthese acts against his fellow Olympians? How does therelationship between heroes and gods differ from the relationshipbetween the rest of humanity and the gods?
The Greek Diomedes and Glaucus, an ally of the Trojans, meet onthe battlefield. As they exchange taunts, they unexpectedlydiscover that their grandfathers were good friends. How does thisaffect their hostile attitudes toward one another? What doestheir oath of friendship say about where their loyaltieslie? What is the relative value of national and personalinterests?
For the Greeks it is difficult to see the effects of war on theirfamilies who are far away in Greece. For the Trojans, on theother hand, the war is daily before their eyes; recall the eldersand Helen and Priam watching from the city wall. In Book 6 wefollow Hector into the city to retrieve Paris and are able toobserve how non-combatant mothers, wives and children respond tothe fighting.
What is the impact of war on the women of Troy? and on thefamilies of the heroes? How is Hector's mother, Hecuba, affectedby events? What does she desire to offer Hector and what is sheinstructed to do? What is ironic in this action?
What does Helen seek for Hector? What is his response to her?
Where is Andromache, his wife, and what is she doing when Hectorcomes to see her? What is her frame of mind? What thoughts haveso preoccupied her? Why might she be more concerned about thefate of her husband than other wives about theirs?
What comfort does Hector offer his wife in her anxiety? There isnothing romantic about this exchange, but yet there is concernand devotion. What expressions of Hector reveal his tenderfeelings for her?
For all Homer's attention to the most gruesome details of combat,his portrayal of Hector's interest in his infant son reveals adimension of heroism different from anything we've seen sofar. How does the father regard his young son? How aloof ordistant was this primitive warrior from his small child? Howintimate?
Here is another instance of Homeric laughter, as father andmother react to the infant's initial alarm at his father inbattle gear with face mostly hidden by his helmet. Whatcircumstances produce the laughter? How is this like the laughteron Olympus as gods watched Hephaestus scrambling in service tothem? How is it different?
The closing scene of the book sees Hector and Paris returning tobattle. How has Paris' afternoon in the city differed fromHector's time there? Note the simile of the horse leaving thestall for the open plain and a romp in the river. Is this imagefully complimentary of Paris? Are there important qualitieslacking? Despite the great differences in the determination ofthese two heroes, as they leave the city at this time, how doesHector address Paris? Does he dismiss him as a do-nothing?
For a second time single combat is proposed to decide the outcomeof the War, only this time between Hector and Ajax theGreater. The outcome is undecided and both exchange gifts andstop for the night. Both sides decide to hold a truce to burytheir dead the following day. In the Trojan assembly Paris isasked to give up Helen and put an end to the fighting, but herefuses offering personal treasures instead.
On the Greek side Nestor proposes that a wall and trench beconstructed protecting the ships along the beach. What reasonsare given for the construction? What message is given by thisdefensive action?
What role does Nestor play in the events of this book? What kindof hero is he? What is the basis of the respect the soldiers havefor him?
Early in this book there are signs that divine support hasshifted to the Trojans, and that Achilles' plea to his mother isbeginning to be fulfilled. Diomedes is stopped cold in hissuccesses on the battlefield. Zeus himself throws downthunderbolts and causes the earth to split open in front ofDiomedes' chariot so that the hero at last realizes that hisdivine support has turned. As a final image of the new balance ofpower, the Trojans spend the night camped on the plain, outsidethe walls of their city for the first time since the Greeksarrived.
How does Zeus deal with Athena and Hera in their efforts toadvance the Greek side? What is revealed about the roles ofHector and Patroclus?
How critical is the Trojan threat to the Greeks in the course ofthis book? How do the events of this book serve the overallpurposes of the story?
Agamemnon is stung by the realization that the fortunes of theGreeks have turned so bad that he must have Achilles' help. Buthis offer of reconciliation and gifts--truly a king's ransom--isrejected by Achilles. Achilles nurses a bigger grudge than anyonehad thought, and the three distinguished visitors who bringAgamemnon's message will return to report bad news.
Book 8 had ended with the image of thousands of Trojan campfiresburning on the plain, each surrounded by fifty men, signallingTrojan confidence. What is the state of mind of the Greeks? Homeropens Book 9 with a simile:
As crosswinds chop the sea where the fish swarm,Winds whipping up waves tangling seaweed -- an apt image of thestate of mind of the Greek forces and Agamemnon especially, whofeels chief responsibility for their fortunes. Agamemnon ordersthe heralds to call the assembly, but they are so distraught andslow to act, that Agamemnon himself pitches in and gathers thetroops. Once gathered, he addresses them--in tears.
the North Wind and the West Wind blasting out of Thrace
in sudden, lightning attack, wave on blacker wave, cresting,
heaving a tangled mass of seaweed out along the surf--
so the Aechaeans' hearts were torn inside their chests.
(p. 251, lines 4-8)
Who are the members of the delegation sent to Achilles? Nestorselects these heroes not at random, but rather because of theirclose relationship with Achilles. What qualities does each havethat would appeal to Achilles? How does each seek to persuadeAchilles to return to combat? Who seems to move Achilles mostfrom his determination to avoid fighting?
In his reply to Odysseus, Achilles says, 'I hate that man likethe very Gates of Death who says one thing but hides another inhis heart' (lines 378-379). This charge, aimed at Agamemnon, musthave a stunning effect on Odysseus, who is renowned among theGreeks for being a very clever and calculating speaker.
In his reply to Odysseus, what does Achilles say about hiscommitment to the values that brought him to Troy? about theheroic ideal? What are his reservations about pursuing heroichonor? Consider especially lines 383-394 (p.262).
Compare how Achilles uses the prospect of death in this passagewith how Glaucus used it when he addressed Diomedes on thebattlefield (Book 6, lines 170-175.) And compare these with howSarpedon refers to death in his conversation with Glaucus (Book12, lines 359-381).
Phoenix addresses Achilles as someone with a close personalrelationship with the young hero. He seeks to win over Achilleswith a parable and a story. What is the point of the parable ofthe Prayers? What does the parable illustrate about people whorefuse pleas for forgiveness? Where do the prayers acquire theirphysical characteristics? What is the role of Ruin in theparable? When does Ruin affect the offender and when theoffended? Why are they the daughters of Zeus?
What is the point of the story of Meleager? How were thecircumstances surrounding his refusal to fight the Curetessimilar to those of Achilles? What were the consequences of hisrefusal to fight?
Before this book, Agamemnon seems to have been chieflyresponsible for sustaining the quarrel between himself andAchilles. Do the events of this book shift the burden ofresponsibility?
The night before the Trojan attack on the ships is prolonged byan account of a secret raid on some allies of the Trojans.
With Achilles's refusal to accept his offer of reconciliation,Agamemnon continues to be tormented by thoughts of Greekdisaster. He calls for a council to make strategy, and thedecision is made to send spies among the Trojans by night forinformation about the enemy's plans, morale, etc. Diomedes isready to volunteer and he chooses Odysseus to accompany him. Onthe Trojan side, a council is held for the same purpose and Dolonis picked to carry out the mission. How does the Trojanexpedition proceed so very differently from the Greek?
The nighttime raid of Book 10 has been criticized for theapparently unheroic actions of the two Greek warriors, since theykill their opponents as they sleep. How might you explain theiractions here?
Look at the map labeled 'HOMERIC GEOGRAPHY: The Aegean and AsiaMinor,' following the Introduction of Fagle's translation(pp. 72-73, though the maps don't have page numbers). Notice thelocation of Thrace. What is important about the fact that it isnorth of the strait that separates Asia Minor from Europe? Howmight this provide grounds for making Thracians the victims ofthe Greek raid?
The divine support of the Trojans continues. In the course ofthis book leading Greek heroes are wounded and must withdraw fromthe fighting, including Agamemnon, Diomedes, and Odysseus.
From the stern of his ship Achilles watches with interest ascomrades fight and are wounded, and as relief efforts areundertaken. For a better idea of the Greek situation, he sendsPatroclus to Nestor. How does the poet make the connectionbetween these events and the future involvement of Patroclus inthe fighting?
The Trojans are now ready to charge the rampart, break through tothe ships and set them on fire, removing the Greeks' only meansof escape and pointing to their sure ruin. Unlike combat on theopen plain, the Trojan strategy will be to flood the narrow spacebetween the rampart and the sea with troops, and hope that therestricted space will lessen the Greeks' numerical advantage. Sofighting will be at very close quarters, and casualties on bothsides cannot help but be high.
Just before leading their Lycian forces (Trojan allies) to invadethe ships, Sarpedon and Glaucus have a 'moment of truth' or a'reality check' and reconsider their reasons for running suchrisks (pp.335-36). What motivates these heroes to fight? What dothey hope to gain by fighting? What prompted this conversation inthe first place? Describe the resolve of these heroes to risktheir lives in battle. Do they have reservations about what theyare doing? How does their resolve compare with Achilles'?
In Books 13 through 16 pressure continues to build against theGreeks until Patroclus is brought into the fighting. The means ofbringing Patroclus to that point, however, will involve divineparticipation, giving these events much greater importance.
When Poseidon seeks to encourage the two Ajaxes in battle, hedisguises himself as Calchas. What is the importance of thisperson to the Greeks and why is this a fitting disguise forPoseidon's purpose?
Among Trojans what is the stature of Aeneas?
As the Book closes, Ajax challenges Hector by the ships. What isthe significance of the flight of the eagle (p.367,ll.948-49)? Why does it cheer the Greeks?
Book 14 opens with two quarrels, one among men, the other among gods. Howdoes Odysseus address Agamemnon? Has he spoken to him in this mannerpreviously in the poem? What does this reveal about the state of affairson the Greek side?
How is Zeus temporarily taken out of the action? Compare thisscene to the passage in Book 3 where Aphrodite brought Helen andParis together. How are the scenes alike? How different?
What is so amusing about Zeus's response to the beautified Hera(p.380, ll.379-393)? Is this portrait intentionally funny or doyou think it reveals other aspects of Zeus's character that areworthy of respect and reverence?
When Zeus rebukes Hera for intervening against his will, whatdoes he declare that will have important consequences for theGreeks, and Achilles in particular?
Again, it is clear that Homer is not interested in suspense inthe way we think of it. Otherwise, he would not give away so muchof the story this far in advance. So how does he keep hisaudience's attention? A partial answer must be that he views thereader as a spectator of the drama taking place in the poem. Thereader is watching not to see what will happen, but to see howpeople will respond to what happens. Homer takes great care withthe particular details that produce the response. Then he spendsmuch time tracking the phases of a character's response, becausewith the most important events, the response is not simple andimmediate, but complex and evolving.
What is the state of the fighting in the closing lines of thisbook? How does Homer show the desperation of the Greeks?
Teddy Bear Book Pediatric
In tears Patroclus reaches Achilles and how is he received? Whatis the tone of the questions Achilles puts to his sadcomrade? What advice does Achilles give to Patroclus before hiscomrade goes into battle? What limits does Achilles impose onPatroclus as he defends the Greeks? What does Achilles' advicereveal about his own plans?
Before sending his friend into combat, Achilles is at the heightof his anger and blindness. In the light of Achilles' wish(p. 415, lines 115-19), what does Homer reveal about his presentstate of mind? Where is there mention of Agamemnon and thequarrel now? Who is the target of Achilles' anger? How does thiscompare with his description of his anger in Book 9? What doAchilles' remarks here have to do with the ideals of heroismreflected throughout the poem, if anything?
The Myrmidons, Achilles' troops, are described as they prepare tofight (p. 417, lines 187-194). How does the simile of thefrenzied wolves differ from other similes Homer has written aboutmen preparing for battle?
Before the troops begin to fight there is a catalogue ofAchilles' captains (p. 418, lines 199-232). How does this comparewith other catalogues Homer has used in the poem? What is itseffect here?
How is the heroism of Patroclus presented before he reaches thecity of Troy? What is the significance of his victory overSarpedon? Who is Sarpedon? Where has he been mentioned before andin what connection?
How does Patroclus die? How does Apollo's role in his deathcompare with Hector's role?
As he gloats over the dying Patroclus, Hector charges him withfoolishly trying to carry out Achilles' instructions? DidAchilles instruct Patroclus to take on Hector? What does thistell us about Hector's state of mind?
Just before he dies, Patroclus tells Hector that his death alsois near. What is Hector's reply and, again, what does it tell usabout his state of mind? How do his words compare with his replyto Andromache when she poured out her fears to him (p. 210, lines530-555)?
Book 17 is chiefly occupied with the fight to recover Patroclus'scorpse. Despite the many assaults and counter-assaults by bothsides, the body is not taken up decisively even by the end ofthis book. The armor of Achilles, that Patroclus had borrowed forbattle, is recovered by Hector and will not return to its formerowner. The episode runs the length of the Book, and emphasizesthe importance of Patroclus as well as prepares for the impact ofhis death on Achilles.
In the events surrounding the recovery of the body of Patroclus,what are the signs of Hector's hybris and overconfidence.
The immortal horses of Achilles refuse to leave the site ofPatroclus's fall. Despite lashings by their driver, Automedon,they stand and weep (p. 456, lines 493-525). What does theirgrief do for the tone of the story at this point? How does theirgrief prepare for the events of Book 18? What brings the horsesfinally to get underway again?
At the end of this Book four similes occur in 26 lines, anespecially thick cluster. What is the impact of putting so manysimiles here? What is fitting about the last simile--crows orstarlings fleeing from a pursuing hawk--and how does it preparefor the action that takes place in Book 18?
Homer could not have simply brought Achilles into directconfrontation with Hector without some preparation in thenarrative. How does Homer develop the character of Achilles inthe scenes leading up to his encounter with Hector?
How does Achilles come to learn of his friend's death?
How is his grief for the death of Patroclus enhanced ormagnified? Who joins him in mourning?
In his conversation with Thetis (pp. 470-71, ll. 113-50), whatdoes Achilles now understand about his anger toward Agamemnonthat he didn't realize before? What prevented Achilles fromfighting before now? What images does he use to describe hisearlier state of mind? How successfully do they describe hispsychological condition?
Now that Achilles has resolved to avenge the death of his bestfriend, his own life will not last much longer. How does this newdetermination reflect on Achilles's earlier questioning of hispresence at Troy (cf. Book 9)?
Before Achilles receives new arms, Iris comes to tell him that hemust appear to the troops, even without weapons, to play a rolein the recovery of the body of Patroclus. As he stands at thetrench, he lets out a cry. What is the effect?
At the trench, Achilles is described as 'Aeacides' twice. Aeacusis the son of Zeus, and father of Peleus. Why would Homer want torefer to him by his grandfather's name in this passage?
What is the importance of Achilles's having new arms made byHephaestus? How does the description of the shield's art gobeyond the natural or normal?
What is the significance of the scenes on the shield? Are thesescenes a part of the heroic world of the men fighting atTroy? Under what circumstances might Achilles have enjoyed a lifesimilar to what appears on the shield.
Some scholars argue that the passage was a later addition,because it doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the story. Howwould you argue for its belonging to the original poem? How doesit relate to the rest of the poem and its principal themes?
Two cities are described, one at peace, the other at war. In thetrial that takes place in the city at peace, a quarrel has brokenout over the blood-price for a murder victim. How does thisquarrel promise to be resolved more peaceably than the quarrel ofthis poem?
The description of the city at peace opens with a detailed lookat a wedding procession. How does this image reflect on the themeof marriage in the poem?
What do the images of this description have in common with theimages of the similes? What has been the function of thesesimiles?
There is one simile in the entire description of the shield. Itrepresents an artisan shaping a pot on a wheel. How is this anapt figure in the present context?
THE SHIELD AFTER ACHILLES:
This description of so remarkable a shield was not forgotten, butserved as the inspiration for many stories that arose after theIliad. The value of these weapons as a trophy of this War was toogreat to permit them to simply be tossed onto the heap with therest of the spoils. In one of the later stories, following thedeath of Achilles, Odysseus and Ajax the Greater(Telamonian) quarreled over who deserved the weaponsmore. Odysseus, speaking more persuasively before the troops, wasgranted the weapons, despite strong feelings that Ajax was thebetter soldier. Humiliated, Ajax went mad and took his ownlife. (See Sophocles' play, Ajax.)
Among other things, Book 19 points out the extent of forgivenessand reconciliation between Agamemnon and Achilles, and the twoheroes' determination to press for their unique value to theGreeks. The promised gifts are presented to Achilles and publiclydisplayed, so that Agamemnon may gain some recognition for hisgenerosity. Achilles's entry into the fighting will be put offbriefly.
When the troops gather and Achilles rallies them to battle, whatfeelings does he express for Briseis now? How do they comparewith his feelings for her as expressed in Book 1?
In their speeches before the assembled troops, both Achilles andAgamemnon attribute their irresponsible actions to Ate(Ruin). Does the poet acknowledge or support this shrugging offof blame? How prominent was Ate in Homer's original descriptionof the quarrel between these two Greeks in Book 1?
Contrary to Fagles's translation at p.491, line 88, Agamemnonremains seated while he addresses the troops following Achilles'sspeech. Imagine the assembly: troops excited to see Achillesready to return to battle, while Agamemnon and other heroes areweakened by wounds, and Agamemnon himself is about to turn overlarge amounts of gifts to Achilles. With this background considerAgamemnon's speech. How does he continue to seek to protect hisreputation and stature among the troops in what he says here?
He says, 'when a man stands up to speak, it's well tolisten' (line 91). The implication is: Achilles is healthybecause he has stayed out of danger, while some heroes and I havesuffered wounds.
Agamemnon explains his affliction as caused by Ate and recallsthe story of how Zeus too was blinded by Ate at the birth of hisson, Heracles, son of Alcmena. The god's actions caught theattention of Hera, who cursed the hero throughout his mortallife. What is the effect of Agamemnon's inviting comparison withZeus?
What is Achilles's response to Agamemnon's efforts to exhibit thegifts he is offering him? What does Achilles's response revealabout the resolution of differences between himself andAgamemnon?
When the decision is finally made to prepare a feast and displaythe gifts for Achilles, what is Achilles's response? How is heaffected?
. . .So he triumphedAgain, before Achilles meets Hector in combat, he encountersother Trojans and defeats them, even Hector's brother,Polydorus.
and now he was bent on outrage, on shaming noble Hector.
Piercing the tendons, ankle to heel behind both feet,
he knotted straps of rawhide through them both,
lashed them to his chariot, left the head to drag
and mounting the car, hoisting the famous arms aboard,
he whipped his team to a run and breakneck on they flew,
holding nothing back.
( 22.465-472; transl. Fagles )
What is decided by Achilles's confrontation with Aeneas? Whatdoes this combat serve to show?
Achilles continues his aristeia, his deeds of heroism on thebattlefield. He pursues fleeing Trojans into the Scamander River,where he even becomes involved in a fight with the riveritself.
What are the human and cosmic dimensions of this combatwith the river and what does this episode reveal about theimportance of Achilles's participation in the War?
The focus of this book is on the duel between Achilles and Hectorand the death of Hector. Speeches frame this action: at thebeginning the pleas of Priam and Hecuba that Hector seek safetyinside the city walls; at the end, the laments of Priam andHecuba and, finally, of Andromache.
Note how Homer inserts throughout a narrative of psychologicaltension and physical violence, scenes of peaceful, domesticactivities: Hector's vision of two lovers conversing, the womenof Troy washing clothes outside the city walls, at home withAndromache, Andromache at the loom ordering servants to drawbathwater for her husband, memories of his wedding-day. How dothese passages affect the prevailing sense of approachingdeath?
At first sight of Achilles, Hector bolts and runs around the citywalls three times before he decides to stop and face hisopponent. Why would an otherwise brave hero--one of the greatestat Troy--act so unheroically at this point? Does Homer wish toundermine the image of Hector, or is he sympathetic with thehero? How does he show his sympathies for him?
How is the death of Hector described? What is the role of gods inhis death? What is the impact of his death on his family, hisfather, mother, wife, and infant son? Do these descriptionsenhance the heroic stature of Achilles, of Hector? What is thepoint of such descriptions?
What terms does Hector seek to arrange with Achilles before he iskilled? Why is Achilles unwilling to grant the request?
The two-fold theme unifying this Book is the dishonor shown thebody of Hector and the honor shown the slain Patroclus.
Battle scenes are now over for the rest of the poem. How do thefuneral games for Patroclus help us 'catch our breath,' after theactions of the preceeding books?
What events make up the funeral games? Note how the descriptionsof the events, from the chariot race on, become increasinglyshorter. What might be the point of this trend?
Note how Homer uses these athletic events to bring out qualitiesof character of the participants. What do we learn aboutAchilles? Nestor? Antilochus? Menelaus?
What qualities and characteristics of Achilles are illustrated byhis participation in the games? How would you describe therelationship between him and Agamemnon in this book? What doeshis awarding Agamemnon the prize for the javelin-throw say aboutAchilles's attitude toward the Greek commander at this point inthe story?
How does Achilles's image in this book contrast with theprevailing image he has shown thoughout the poem? His quarrelwith Agamemnon was based on the king's taking something of valuefrom him, and this loss Achilles was not able to put behind himuntil Patroclus was killed. Here, though, Achilles is shown to begenerous in at least two important ways: he gives liberally ofhis goods to honor his slain friend, and he settles disputes overcontests between competitors (i.e. Menelaus and Antilochus). Heis fully integrated with the Greek force. His acts of generosityhere are not confined to the Myrmidons, but dispensed throughoutthe force. This is a very different attitude from the one behindthe words,
Oh would to god--Father Zeus, Athena and lord Apollo--The closing image of the book is Talthybius, Agamemnon's herald,accepting the prize for his master and carrying it back to hiscamp, the same Talthybius, whom Agamemnon had instructed to goand retrieve Briseis in Book 1 following the bitter exchangebetween the heroes. Use of the same character emphasizes howdramatically different the situation is now.
not one of all these Trojans could flee his death, not one,
no Argive either, but we could stride from the slaughter
so we could bring Troy's hallowed crown of towers
toppling down around us--you and I alone!
The last 150 lines, or so, of this book show the grief, mostly ofPriam and Andromache. How does Andromache come to learn of herhusband's death? What activities is she involved in when shefirst senses something wrong? What do these activitiesrepresent? Like Hecuba, she too tears off her headdress, but whatis different about the description that follows (p. 557, lines552-55)? What do we learn in this passage about the significanceof Astyanax's name? Why was it given to him? How does this scenenow reflect on Hector's prayer for his son at the end of Book Six(p. 211, lines 568-574)?
If this were your standard Western or Police movie, the storyprobably would have ended with the death of Hector, and maybe thedestruction of Troy. Writers of these kinds of stories seek tohold our attention by appealing to our appetite for vengeance. Wecan't wait to see the cruel terrorist or the heartlessgun-slinger blasted away by the hero. Once vengeance is achieved,the story is over. Once Achilles gets back at Hector for killingPatroclus, the story might have been over.
But Homer chose to end this story differently. Why? Remember thatvengeance was not the opening or unifying theme of the story. Ithas really only been a theme since Book 18, when Achilles firstlearned of the death of his companion. No, Achilles's anger andits destructive effects have been kept before our attention,though sometimes in the background, from the beginning. And hisanger and its effects are not satisfied by vengeance now. Hisgrief for his lost friend continues until the events described inthis book.
If Book 23 presents an image of a generous hero publiclybestowing prizes and settling disputes, Book 24 opens with thehero privately tormented by the loss of his dear friend anddetermined to get satisfaction through abusing the corpse ofHector. Achilles remains bitterly vengeful. There is muchdistance to cover before he comes around, yet Homer uses the samenumber of lines as in previous books. The pace is quick. Note thelength of scenes and how often they change. What are the longestscenes in this book?
This book portrays the concern for Hector's body and the divineas well as human pity which is evoked in his behalf. Achilles'scontinuing efforts to mutilate the corpse moves the gods,especially Apollo, to act. Hera resists. How does Zeus settlethis dispute? What are the reasons for having Priam go to ransomthe body? Why must Achilles be respected above Hector in thisbusiness?
How does Priam approach Achilles to ransom back the body of hisson? What does he offer the Greek? Who accompanies him on hisway? At what time of day does he set out and when does he arriveat the hut of Achilles? What is the significance of this?
As Priam and Idaeus, his attendant, cross the plain to the shipsthey are met by Hermes, disguised as a Myrmidon. Why are he andhis companion so frightened by him? Aren't the odds two to one intheir favor? How is Hermes' disguise ideal in Priam'scircumstances? What can Priam learn from a Myrmidon, that hecouldn't from a Trojan ally or even a Greek from another body ofsoldiers?
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Before Hermes leaves, he reveals his identity and gives Priamadvice that is vital to the success of his mission. What isit? What do Priam's first words to Achilles show about his regardfor this advice?
As Priam appeals to Achilles he utters words of potentiallydeadly irony. He recalls Peleus, Achilles's father: '...his oldheart rejoices, hopes rising, day by day, to see his beloved soncome sailing home from Troy.' Priam surely does not know ofAchilles's fate to die without ever returning home. A moremean-spirited man might have seized the opportunity to takeoffense and turn on Priam. But Achilles, instead, sees in a lightPriam could not have known, how closely linked are Priam's andhis own father's situations--both will know the loss of a valiantand noble son. And this realization prompts pity.
In his response to Priam, Achilles refers to Troy as a city whoseglory lies in the past. The implication is that since the arrivalof the Greeks, Troy has suffered economic decline. Borders aresmaller, revenues less, supplies short. There may not have been aclear idea of when the city would fall, but all are aware thatthe ten-year war has reduced Troy's stature in the areasignificantly.
When Priam presses Achilles for an exchange without furtherdelay--ransom for body--Achilles lashes out and even threatensthe king with death if he does not wait for things to be done inorder. How do you account for this abrupt change ofattitude? Only moments before the two were weeping over presentcircumstances, and now Achilles threatens he may lose hiscomposure and take the life of Priam.
Two possible explanations come to mind. The exchange is a privatematter, between Priam and Achilles. The Greeks at large, andprobably the Myrmidons outside Achilles's tent, are unaware ofwhat is taking place here. If they were, Agamemnon would have tocall an assembly and debate would ensue, and a decision madebased on circumstances far beyond the immediate interests ofthese two. It is precisely this that Achilles wishes to avoid ifat all possible. Should Priam see his son's corpse, evenmiraculously preserved, he might be shocked and react in anirrational manner that would call attention to otherGreeks. Achilles wants the situation handled between himself andthe king, and the king should allow for the preparation of thebody before he sees it.
Describe Achilles's hospitality toward the king--how does heaccommodate him with food and lodging? How does Priam receive hishospitality?
Recall the meeting of Diomedes and Glaucus at the beginning ofBook 6, and how different sides in the War took a back seat topersonal friendship between their grandfathers and, therefore,between themselves. At what point in the meeting between Priamand Achilles do such personal relations seem to surface? Do thetwo opponents ever fully forget their sides in the War?
In what condition is the body of Hector when it is returned? Howand by whom is the body prepared for return?
Priam and Idaeus, in tears, return with the body. Cassandra,daughter of Priam, first notices their return and cries out thenews to the city, whose inhabitants stream out of the gates toreceive the group.
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Singled out by Homer in their grief are the women of Book6: Andromache, Hecuba, and Helen. Andromache mourns her loss interms of herself, her son, and the city; Hecuba takes comfort inthe recovery and preservation of the body; and Helen mourns theloss of her greatest defender among the resentful Trojans. Howdoes each contribute to the impression of the loss felt by thedeath of Hector?
Under conditions of truce offered by Achilles--again, as in Book23, he acts in the interest of all Greeks--and accepted by Priam,the Trojans have twelve days to honor Hector with burial and afeast. Timber is gathered for nine days, the body burned on thetenth, then quickly buried under fear the Greeks may attack bysurprise.
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How does the final scene of this book mark a fitting conclusionto the theme of the anger of Achilles, the theme of the entirepoem?
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The poem ends with a sense of urgency and haste--the Greeks areready and eager to attack, only this time, with Hector gone,Trojan resistance is severely reduced. Achilles's end also hasbeen foretold by himself, by the gods, and other Greeks. EvenPriam, now, knows this. Book 1 opened with no sense that the fallof Troy was any closer than when the Greeks arrived. There was noprecise indication of progress on either side. No territoryclaimed for the Greeks. No serious threat of Trojans driving theGreeks away. Now, however, the Greeks are in their strongestposition ever to take the city. The fall of Troy isimminent. While Homer has remained focused throughout the poem onthe theme of Achilles's anger and its devastating effects, he hasset the events of the quarrel with Agamemnon at a time whichmakes their impact on the course of the War decisive. Though thepoem does not get its unity from the Trojan War, the course ofthe War has given these actions greater dramatic urgency.