Author Archives: sehoyos

Jesus and Muhammad

  1. Islamic perceptions of Heaven and Hell differ from those of Christianity and Judaism in that once you die, you will be judged; not just in your faith in God, but in the deeds you have accomplished in life. I believe all have a relatively similar vision of Heaven as paradise and Hell as a pit of fiery damnation, but in Islam there are different levels you can be assigned based on the amount of good or amount bad that you have committed. Our text also refers to the divine Koran existing in the seventh Heaven. Christians, on the other hand, believe that the gates of Heaven are achieved through belief in Christ and the repentance of sins.
  2. The Nativity was a fulfilled prophesized event, something which was familiar to Greek culture. Additionally, the immaculate conception could also be considered a familiar element, as Jesus would then be a child of a human and God. The Passion, a final sacrifice for all sin, was a new concept and an appealing one. Christ was the definitive hero, making the ultimate sacrifice for all others. Also, the idea that if one believed in Christ and simply asked for forgiveness would be shown mercy was much more favorable than giving sacrifices to finicky gods who may or may not look kindly on you.
  3. The emphasis on human repentance and divine mercy was an entirely new concept. This practice offered a much more personal relationship between man and God, as well as an equally dispersed one. It opened the religion to all people, not just the Hebrews, who had God’s favor and been considered his chosen people. In fact, it specifically targeted Gentiles, seeking out those who are lost (such as in the parable of the one lost lamb over the other 99). A God who favored all people equally, as well as one who looked mercifully on them, was very different than the gods seen in Gilgamesh or the Iliad. Gilgamesh and Achilles had been favored above others, even if their actions were less honorable. Instead, others were punished in their place, or were unaided and deceived.

Not my ordinary hero

  1. Medea is driven by her emotions, like Achilles was. When they were betrayed by the people that should have been gracious to them, both were consumed with anger and committed atrocious acts. Achilles wished for the death of his friends, fellow Greeks, by the Trojans so they would see that he was needed, and then desecrated Hector’s body. Medea had inflicted a horrible death on the princess and her father, and then unforgivably killed her own children. At this point their paths diverge. Achilles can somewhat make up for his act by returning the body to Hector’s father, however, Medea would not listen to reason and in no way can make up for killing her children. Not to mention the previous killings of her brother and father. Which brings up the difference in the Achilles had very close ties to his mother and father, while Medea didn’t allow familial connections to deter her actions.

Both hurt themselves in their stubbornness, though they do get the revenge that they are seeking. Continuously refusing to fight, even when all of his friends are wounded, he ends up losing Petroclus. Medea, in order to get ultimate revenge, kills her own children even though it grieves her, too.

But going back to their raging emotions, I think it is important to point out that Medea was very intelligent and cunning. She was angry but not in a fiery passion like Achilles, she was cool and calculating. She had a plan laid out, she manipulated Jason and the King, and she found a way to escape. Achilles did not have much of a plan other than rage, wait, and ask for his mother’s assistance.

Both had some relation with a god that aided them. Achilles had his mother in addition to the favor of the gods. Medea was the granddaughter of Helios, who helped her escape. Both are blessed in power, Medea in sorcery and Achilles in strength and speed. Medea is a foreigner though, where Achilles is Aegean and is a king with rights. However, even as a foreigner she was well respected by the men and women of Greece because she was intelligent.

I cannot relate Medea as a hero, but I also could not see Achilles a hero, either. In terms of Greek heroes, I think Medea fits. She was clever and that trait allowed her to overcome her grievances and come out on top, even though she hurt herself in the process.

  1. I think Job did not push for an answer because God did answer him. God reminded Job that He created everything, is all knowing, and is in control. His answer asserts that we will never know God’s reasons and we should not expect to, that is the basis of having faith. God sees what we cannot; we have to trust him in his vision. So while we may question why things happen to us, we may never know because it in a cause or effect for the future.

I am satisfied with the answer, but perhaps it is biased from my personal beliefs. Maybe naïve, but I think that things happen for a reason. I cannot know what will happen in the next hour or day, but I have faith that there is a plan and as far as I’m concerned, I have always seen things work out for the best.


1. Achilles’s relationship with his fellow Achaeans was typical of a Greek warrior. He cared and respected many of them, but honor and glory in battle surpassed true loyalty. They were many kings who contended for their own interests, and Achilles was more easily offended and quick to anger than the others. He was also so full of pride (perhaps hubris) and selfishness that he would not aide in battle because he was dishonored by Agamemnon, both when his prize was taken from him and when he was not acknowledged as being the best of the Greek warriors. When his neighbors were being cut down by Hector, he relishes, because it shows that they need him. Even when Agamemnon concedes and offers him a bounty, Achilles is still not satisfied and continues to rage and stoke his hurt pride. He doesn’t come to action until Patroclus dies, then he focuses his rampant emotions into crushing sorrow. I think he is genuinely grieved, but I think in some way exaggerated. His self-centered attitude puts his grief before all others, thinking it is greater even than a father’s grief over his son, or brother for brother. It was not good enough to get revenge; he had to desecrate the body of the warrior, too.

Hector’s relationship with his soldiers is much different. It could be that the Trojans feel more united under the rule of one king, as opposed to the Achaeans who are built of many kings who all want to be in control. There is more camaraderie between Hector and his soldiers; he fights when they fight. When he seeks out Paris, he is eager to get back to the battle field. He tells Helen, “My heart is out there with our fighting men. They already feel my absence from battle,’ (p. 196). Then as he stands alone before the walls of Troy waiting for Achilles, he is so wracked with guilt that he led so many of his men to their deaths that he cannot bear the thought of seeking refuge in the city and facing them. As a prince he has made the effort to prove himself a worthy leader to the people of Troy, training to be the best warrior so he can lead them into battle as opposed to sending them out, and the people love him for it. Achilles is a great warrior, but demands recognition for what was given to him by his birth and that he does not have to work for.

2. After Achilles went berserk, it was the plea of Priam that pulled him out of his sorrow. Achilles saw the love his own father felt for him, as well as the grief that would come when he didn’t return home. Priam moved Achilles in this way, filling him with compassion. It’s also a reminder that there are no definites in war. A father should not kiss the hand of his son’s killer, but he does so out of love for his lost child. Hate for the enemy turns to pity, because they are no different from you and your loved ones.

3. I think the two codes are mutually exclusive, though the final action may be the same. This is truer for Hector, since the war was being fought on his homeland and his family was at a greater risk. Hector exhibits the warrior code by facing off Achilles, too guilty to face his men after leading so many of them to their death. He chose instead to die with honor rather than hide behind the walls. However, he initially fought for his family. As he told his wife, he would rather be slain before hearing her cries as she was taken off to slavery. Though the drive is different, the final outcome, to fight for honor and victory, is the same.

Introducing Shanann

Hi all! My name is Shanann Hoyos and I am a born and raised Fairbanksian. This is my last semester here as an ME undergrad. I am planning on 2015 being full of travel adventures and grad school in warmer climates. I am sad at the thought of leaving; I have loved growing up in Alaska and I can be such a homebody. If I could, I would easily veg out all winter with a book, hot cocoa, and a crochet project. My excitement to get out there and see things outweighs my already blossoming nostalgia, though. I enjoy nearly everything outdoors, from hiking to kayaking, and I am always looking forward to seeing new places.

I am currently finishing off my Biology minor and a couple core requirements (this class included), with absolutely no Engineering courses, which is going to make this semester very different than what I’m used to. I am looking forward to having all of my classes in Murie, with its floor-to-ceiling windows. If you have never spent a full day inside Duckering without reprieve, trust me, you are not missing out.

As I may have hinted at earlier, I am a complete bookworm. I love, love, love to read whenever I get the chance. My summer read was 1984 and I am just digging into the Princess Bride. I am looking forward to this class because now I’ll get to read no matter how hectic my schedule gets.

Looking forward to spending the semester with you all!


This is Victorious Shanann. I am writing this on the way back from Tri the Kenai, which was amazing! Great weather, beautiful views, and wonderful people.