2.Do you think the language in the story shows a bias toward one of the characters? 5.Just before he strikes down Hektor, Achilleus criticizes him for thinking that he was safe after the death of Patroklos. Achilleus says, “O fool, for an avenger was left, far greater than he was, / behind him and away by the hollow ships.” Consider the context in which Achilleus says this to Hektor and write down what you think the definition of avenger might be.Answers will vary, but students should write down what they infer the meaning ofavengerto be. Using context clues in the passage, students should be able to recognize that an avenger is a person who punishes someone else as a form of payback for a previous offense. Then consult a dictionary to learn what the definition of avenger actually is and write down that definition.Sample definitions of avenger: one who exacts retribution on another for a wrong done or an injustice committed Finally, determine the Latin root of the word avenger and the meaning of that root. Then write down another word that shares the same root. What do you noticeabout the meanings of avenger and the word you chose? Answers will vary, but students should identify the Latin root of avenger: vindicare, which means to punish. There are many other words that share this root, including vindicate, vengeance, and revenge. Students should recognize that the meanings of avengerand the word they chose are similar or touch on related concepts.
A Battle Between HeroesIn many stories of heroism, there is one clear hero and one clear villain—just as there is in the battle between Beowulf and Grendel in Beowulf. But sometimes heroic conflicts take place as a result of the heroic qualities in two different people.In this activity, you will consider how both Hektor and Achilleus find their places in the tradition of the epic hero. To do this, you will consider the ways the heroes are similar and different.Use the Student Guide to take notes as you work through the lesson.A Story of Two HeroesLike other epic heroes, both Hektor and Achilleus represent their people and have great physical strength: Hektor is the greatest warrior of Troy, and Achilleus is the mightiest Greek warrior.Broadly speaking, both heroes engage in the struggle of their people for the sake of their nations. Individually, each hero battles the strongest enemy of the other side despite the substantial risk of being killed.