Discussion Questions 3 — The Iliad
1.What are differences and similarities between Achilles’s relationship with his fellow Achaeans and Hector’s relationship with his fellow Trojans? Outline not only how these two warriors relate to those around them but to each other.
2. The excerpt from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried gives context for those of you who have not been in battle. It speaks to the breaking down of all known boundaries, such as good and evil, that occurs in war. Achilles breaks the Greek standard and religious observance of respect for the dead by dragging Hector’s body around. Even though Hector is his enemy, his acts would have been seen by a B.C. Greek soldier as sacrilege. What is it that brings Achilles back to balance after his berserk episode, and what significance can this transformation have, what does it communicate?
3. Achilles spends the first 18 books of the epic Refusing the Call. He even refuses the Embassy’s offer, a scene in which he proclaims an interest in a domestic life. This proclamation is interesting when compared to the circumstances of Hector in Book 22 when, as we he waits for Achilles to arrive for the final battle he knows he will ever fight, his father Priam and his mother Hecuba call to him from the gates of Troy. This scenes speaks to the inner-tug these warriors feel between two distinct codes of behavior: 1. The Warrior Code and 2. The Familial Code. The first code is dependent upon Honor and and Victory; the second on responsibility for offspring and spouse. Are these two codes mutually exclusive? Why or why not?