Meeting 12 - Meeting 12 Iliad, Book 23. The funeral games...

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Meeting 12 Iliad , Book 23. The funeral games of Patroculs. Book 24 Priam and Achilles. Hector’s funeral at Troy. The funeral games show a transformation in Achilles’ character, or at least show another side of him. What is that? What is the purpose of these games? Why is so much attention devoted to them after the mayhem and tension of Books 20-22? Iliad Book 24 creates most of the problems for the interpretation of the entire epic. The critical question is: has Achilles changed and if so, how? Why does he release the body of Hector to his father Priam? What motivating factors are there? Does Achilles have any sympathies? How does he interact with Priam? What is the contrast here with book one in terms of outcome of negotiations, the end-state of Achilles’ emotions, his position with regard to a spear-captive woman. Has Achilles reached a higher plane or is he a tragic figure who has brought destruction on his own men? When Priam arrives back at Troy with Hector’s corpse, why does the poet of the Iliad have the following women remark on or express moruning for hector: Cassandra, Andromache, Hecuba, Helen? Why have Helen speak last? Read Helen’s speech. What in it gives away the fact that it is a ‘separable’ speech that has been fitted in here. Why end the entire Iliad with the funeral of Hector? Is Achilles a hero; and, if he is, in what way is he a hero? And what is a Greek epic doing showing us the respect and honor accorded to Hector, leader of the enemy? Outline of these two books: FOR BOOK 23 Lls. 40 ff. Achilles fasting Lls. 73 ff. Spirit of Patroclus Lls. 120 ff. Laying of the pyre Lls. 140 150 preparation of corpse and Achilles as mourner
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Meeting 12 - Meeting 12 Iliad, Book 23. The funeral games...

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