ch19achilles

ch19achilles - Classics 10 Chapter 19 Spring 2010 The...

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Classics 10: Chapter 19: Spring 2010 The Trojan War (and Achilles) I. Launching the War II. The Iliad of Homer and the Choices of Mortals III. The Wrath of Achilles “Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer,” Rembrandt, 1653
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The Assembling of the Heroes The Greeks assemble at Aulis, on the coast of Boeotia They sail to Troy via island of Lemnos
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The Assembling of the Heroes The Greek heroes assemble to sail to Troy, but their prophet Calchas foresees problems First, they cannot win without Achilles, the son of Peleus and Thetis, the greatest of Greek fighters He was too young to be a suitor for Helen, so he never took the Oath of Tyndareüs Second, the winds will not even let them depart without Agamemnon’s sacrifice of his own daughter Iphigenia Artemis angry at Agamemnon for his boasts while hunting, demands the sacrifice of his virgin daughter
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The Sacrifice of Iphigenia Agamemnon tricks her into approaching the altar, gags her so she does not curse him, kills her for his own greater glory She thought she was to be betrothed to Achilles! Euripides has an alternate version that saves her, just as he has one about Helen His wife will avenge their daughter later Why would Agamemnon kill his own daughter to win back his brother’s wife? Heroic culture a “shame culture”; loss of honor too great to bear? Men are more obsessed with war than family?
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The Youth of Achilles His immortal mother Thetis would burn him in the fire when he was a baby in order to burn his mortal parts away Compare Demeter and Demophoön in Eleusis Peleus catches her doing this, which ruins it; she leaves Peleus and the baby Peleus gives Achilles to Chiron the Centaur in order to be raised Chiron teaches him hunting, fighting, music Chiron had done the same for Jason in the previous generation
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Achilles’ Heel A much later story (Roman, but very likely not Greek) says that Thetis dipped Achilles in the Styx, the river of the Underworld, and so made him invincible His only weak spot: his heel, which Thetis had held when she dipped him Achilles will die because of an arrow shot by Paris that wounds him in the heel Maybe this is the source of the later story Homer does NOT seem to know the heel story; he has Achilles protected by armor made by Hephaestus
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Achilles as a Girl As the Greek heroes assemble for the Trojan War, Thetis hides him so that he does not go She knows things about his fate … She hides him on the obscure island of Scyros among a group of girls The Greeks’ seer Calchas figures out where Achilles is and Odysseus outs him He stages an attack on Scyros, and Achilles leaps to fight the supposed attackers Odysseus then recruits him for the Trojan War
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The Iliad of Homer Achilles is the central hero of the Iliad , the great surviving Greek account of the Trojan War The Iliad was judged by the Greeks to be their greatest piece of literature; many since have
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2011 for the course CLA 10 taught by Professor Traill during the Spring '08 term at UC Davis.

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ch19achilles - Classics 10 Chapter 19 Spring 2010 The...

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