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Question: How do the depictions fashioned upon Achilles’ Shield (18.568-710) reflect back upon the central plot (everything that’s happened in the poem outside of the shield) of the Iliad? Is the relationship between these artistic scenes and the plot of opposition?

Topic to be discussed: Justice vs. Revenge: civil code vs. martial code. MUST INCLUDE “opposition”

**Must discuss at LEAST two of the scenes depicted on the shield**

(First Paragraph): Introduction MUST be a rework of the prompt (question) and no more than ½ page. 

Introduction MUST clearly lay out topics to be discussed throughout paper

EX: “In Book 18 of the Iliad, Homer describes in detail a series of scenes that Hephaestus forges on Achilles’ shield. These scenes on Achilles’ shield have a symbolic relationship with the central plot of the poem. The symbolic relationships are…… (Opposition).”

(2nd Paragraph): Describe scenes of shield that will be most important to argument, without arguing yet

Include subtopics:

· Revenge (martial code) vs. justice (civil code)

· Heroes vs real people (depicted on the shield)

The Iliad Translated by Robert Fagles (ISBN 978-0-14-027536-0) ONLY. NO other translation can be used.

No outside sources are to be used

MUST include SEVERAL in-text quotations from Books 16, 18 (discusses Achilles’ shield), 19, 22, and 24

MUST include these words in proper context (and italicized

a. time– honor earned while alive

b. geras– prizes won in battle

c. aristeia– excellence in war

d. kleos– glory earned after death

MUST be original work and will be submitted to Turnitin.com (Please include plagiarism report)

Paper must flow. Each paragraph should flow properly into the next paragraph. 

MUST be written using present tense

MUST use proper MLA formatting

MUST be 1800 Words

Must include a Work Cited page

DUE 10/7/19 @ 2200 EST

PLEASE ask questions. DO NOT ASSUME

Thersites and Homeric Greek Society

Homer’s distinction between heroic Greek society and the common soldier becomes evident to the reader during a heated exchange of words between Thersites and Odysseus. In a warrior aristocracy that is governed by a strict martial code, there are rules that each class of society must adhere to. Obtaining time (honor earned while alive) and kleos (glory) are the ultimate goals of all the heroes in the Iliad. Physiognomy is another way Homer distinguishes the exalted from the common soldiers. Homer describes in great detail the looks of the characters; which allows the reader to infer that for one to be exalted, he must have good looks. From this passage, the reader is able to differentiate between life in heroic Greek society and modern American society.

Book 2 of the Iliad illustrates the hierarchy of Greek’s heroic society when a common soldier named Thersites, who does not agree with the war against the Trojans, publicly speaks out against King Agamemnon. Thersites doesn’t simply speak out against the king; he publicly shames him in front of the entire Achaean army, because he believes the king is leading the “sons of Achaea into bloody slaughter,” for his own personal gain (2.273). Thersites’ public display of disrespect does not play out well for him. In a society where one is judged based on his aristeia (excellence in war), Odysseus quickly steps in and questions Thersites about who he thinks he is to question anyone, much less the king, as there is “no one less soldierly” than he (2.287-8).

Zeus dispatches an unreal dream about Troy being no longer an issue since he would assist in fulfilling the promise to assist the Trojans. The following day, rather than Agamemnon delivering the information that he received from the god, he thinks that he can challenge the warriors’ loyalty by using a test (2.46-134). Thus, he lies and advises them to forego the war and return to their homeland. The warriors directly run into their ships. When Hera notices the Achaeans running away, she notifies Athena who then advises Odysseus, who is the cleverest Achaean, to ask the warriors to go back. Odysseus shouts a quote of inspiration and disgrace to goad the soldiers, thus restoring their confidence. Agamemnon has been taken advantage of by the gods due to his bright false ideas (2.135-324). From this, we can infer that the heroic Greek community has a shame-oriented hierarchy. It is also an aristocratic society where all members are aware of their place within the community.

From this passage, the reader infers that there are many words that can be used to describe the heroic Greek society depicted in Homer’s the Iliad, and physiognomic is one of them. Throughout the entire epic poem, characters are introduced based on their looks or their god-like ability. In Book 2, Thersites is described as,

Here was the ugliest man who ever came to Troy.

Bandy-legged he was, with one foot clubbed,

both shoulders humped together, curving over

his caved-in chest, and bobbing above them

his skull warped to a point,

sprouting clumps of scraggly, woolly hair. (2.250-6)

Not only is Thersites ugly to look at, he is also a coward, jumping at the first opportunity to turn and run back oikos (home). This does not fare well for Thersites. Odysseus, who is not only a brave soldier, but also described as a “great tactician,” does not take kindly to Thersites’ inappropriate attempt to not only shame King Agamemnon, but also at his cowardice (2.202). In heroic Greek society, unless he is exalted, he has no business addressing those who are of a higher status, much less publicly criticizing them. Odysseus is quick to let Thersites know that not only is he no one to hurl insults, there is “no one less soldierly” alive (2.288). Of all the soldiers in the Achaean army, no soldier is ranked lower than Thersites. To add insult to injury, when Odysseus finishes putting Thersites in his rightful place, he cracks him with a “scepter across his back and shoulders,” teaching him to never speak out of turn again (2.309). Thersites’ attempt to make King Agamemnon the laughingstock backfires, and all the men begin to laugh at him (2.316).

Odysseus, known for being a “great tactician” and having a “mastermind like Zeus,” is not limited in who he is able to address (2.197, 202). Odysseus must still show respect when addressing the king. Achilles learns this lesson the hard way. Because of the way he speaks to King Agamemnon, he is stripped of his most precious prize, Briseis (1.190-3). Odysseus has shown arete (excellence in war) and continues to prove himself both a fierce fighter and a loyal soldier to the Achaean army. Because of this, there are no repercussions when addressing King Agamemnon directly. Odysseus is steadfast and logical. He pleads with King Agamemnon and his fellow Argives to remain courageous and to “hold out a little longer” (2.350). For nine years they have been fighting this battle against the Trojans, and to give up now will require them to leave empty-handed, resulting in “humiliation” when they return to their homeland (2.345-9). In a society that is primarily based on a martial code, retreating is simply not an option.

As this passage suggests, the warriors in battle are guided by the martial code. Heroic honor is determined by the courage that the warriors display, the difficulty of the test that the warrior is facing. Battle brings the highest honor while hunting and athletics acquire a lesser level of honor. Additionally, offering advice in council such as that of Nestor brings little honor (2.73-102). The physical abilities that a warrior possesses also aids in determining the heroic honor. The social status and the possessions of a warrior also contributes to determining the heroic honor of the warrior. Heroism seems to drive the actions to be undertaken, the fight between Achaean and Trojan heroes brings about life and death events where one has to be killed or get killed. Though mercy and pity are valued in this society, the heroes do not show any mercy to their living competitors (6.59-70).

According to the martial code, mercy and pity should be preserved for the outcomes after the battle. It is mainly portrayed to the survivors or the respected dead. The success in battle is shown by the acquiring of the dead bodies, defeated warriors’ weapons as presents, or by acquiring any other geras (battle prizes), for example Briseis (1.190-2). Family and personal orders are conserved despite the urge to fight for the calls of a person's homeland. If in any case the two types of honors; individual and patriotic conflict with one another, the individual honor is prioritized to the hero. The concern for a warrior's reputation and fame mainly contributes to the courageous and unwise actions that they mostly undertake.

Although there are many terms that are used to describe the society in Homer’s the Iliad, a warrior aristocracy is the most appropriate term when describing the society at whole. Although the epic poem centers around a war in which the Achaeans are fighting against the Trojans in attempt to take control of the city Troy, there are many smaller battles that take place within the Achaean army itself, making their fight against the Trojans more difficult.

The main characters in the poem are aristocrats who are expected to follow a code of value. All the heroes in Homer are men born in wealthy backgrounds. This is because winning and maintaining honor is an essential value for the Greeks which takes time and resources. Any male from a rich family in the Iliad has the main goal for kleos which is everlasting fame and glory. One can attain kleos by succeeding in the battlefield since honor is in self-risk. Kleos is only identified based on what others say a person’s actions over which one has no control over (2.848-77). In the Iliad, perception from others is more important compared to what one thinks of himself. Specific actions such as those that risk the life of a person can aid in attaining the glory. Kleos is a passage for a warrior to be remembered after his death. This is most important in this culture since it does not make much of the afterlife. Whenever songs are sang based on the warrior, his name is remembered at all times.

Each hero’s duty is to fight and the only approach he has of attaining triumph and immorality is the heroic activity on the battlefield. Thus, he consistently prepares his life for the life and death dangers during a fight. The Homeric hero believes that the male must work collaboratively in battle. They are to refrain from too much cruelty as well as respect each other. The hero is expected not to be reluctant about the deliberate actions of cruelty and injustice. If he is ready to kill a victim, he believes that he should be fast. He is not expected to have mercy on him (6.63-5). By being guided by the martial code, a hero gains a sense of decency and a reputation honor that ensures his chance in the public memory of the society.

The heroic Greek society in the Iliad has a great focus on time (honor) which is great honor and recognition for certain achievements. This mostly was presented in the form of material possession. Time can be lost and attained throughout a person's existence; it is mainly based on a person's actions. The characters in the Iliad are admired due to their braveness, strength, courage and mainly their achievements during battles. Whenever a warrior has arête he is given time due to his success which may transform into timeless kleos.

The values of heroic Greek society slightly differ from the current modern world. The heroes from the Greek society are chosen based on their physical appearance and battle achievements while in the modern society leaders are chosen based on their vision and knowledge. Additionally, the heroes in the Greek society do not differentiate between personal morals and conformity of the morals of the community rather they are mainly interested in his acceptance by the people since if he fails to conform, he risks anger from the people and consequently shame. Leaders of today’s society are not exalted to god-like statuses due to their looks. Through a democratic process, education and experience are what allows today’s leaders to become elected officials. This is not the case in heroic Greek society. Persons of power are placed in their appointed positions by the gods they serve. While the exalted in Homeric society are focused on obtaining as many prizes and as many kills as they possibly can, the leaders in today’s American society are primarily interested in making the lives of the people better for generations to come.

,

Thersites and Homeric Greek Society

Homer’s distinction between heroic Greek society and the common soldier becomes evident to the reader during a heated exchange of words between Thersites and Odysseus. In a warrior aristocracy that is governed by a strict martial code, there are rules that each class of society must adhere to. Obtaining time (honor earned while alive) and kleos (glory) are the ultimate goals of all the heroes in the Iliad. Physiognomy is another way Homer distinguishes the exalted from the common soldiers. Homer describes in great detail the looks of the characters; which allows the reader to infer that for one to be exalted, he must have good looks. From this passage, the reader is able to differentiate between life in heroic Greek society and modern American society.

Book 2 of the Iliad illustrates the hierarchy of Greek’s heroic society when a common soldier named Thersites, who does not agree with the war against the Trojans, publicly speaks out against King Agamemnon. Thersites doesn’t simply speak out against the king; he publicly shames him in front of the entire Achaean army, because he believes the king is leading the “sons of Achaea into bloody slaughter,” for his own personal gain (2.273). Thersites’ public display of disrespect does not play out well for him. In a society where one is judged based on his aristeia (excellence in war), Odysseus quickly steps in and questions Thersites about who he thinks he is to question anyone, much less the king, as there is “no one less soldierly” than he (2.287-8).

Zeus dispatches an unreal dream about Troy being no longer an issue since he would assist in fulfilling the promise to assist the Trojans. The following day, rather than Agamemnon delivering the information that he received from the god, he thinks that he can challenge the warriors’ loyalty by using a test (2.46-134). Thus, he lies and advises them to forego the war and return to their homeland. The warriors directly run into their ships. When Hera notices the Achaeans running away, she notifies Athena who then advises Odysseus, who is the cleverest Achaean, to ask the warriors to go back. Odysseus shouts a quote of inspiration and disgrace to goad the soldiers, thus restoring their confidence. Agamemnon has been taken advantage of by the gods due to his bright false ideas (2.135-324). From this, we can infer that the heroic Greek community has a shame-oriented hierarchy. It is also an aristocratic society where all members are aware of their place within the community.

From this passage, the reader infers that there are many words that can be used to describe the heroic Greek society depicted in Homer’s the Iliad, and physiognomic is one of them. Throughout the entire epic poem, characters are introduced based on their looks or their god-like ability. In Book 2, Thersites is described as,

Here was the ugliest man who ever came to Troy.

Bandy-legged he was, with one foot clubbed,

both shoulders humped together, curving over

his caved-in chest, and bobbing above them

his skull warped to a point,

sprouting clumps of scraggly, woolly hair. (2.250-6)

Not only is Thersites ugly to look at, he is also a coward, jumping at the first opportunity to turn and run back oikos (home). This does not fare well for Thersites. Odysseus, who is not only a brave soldier, but also described as a “great tactician,” does not take kindly to Thersites’ inappropriate attempt to not only shame King Agamemnon, but also at his cowardice (2.202). In heroic Greek society, unless he is exalted, he has no business addressing those who are of a higher status, much less publicly criticizing them. Odysseus is quick to let Thersites know that not only is he no one to hurl insults, there is “no one less soldierly” alive (2.288). Of all the soldiers in the Achaean army, no soldier is ranked lower than Thersites. To add insult to injury, when Odysseus finishes putting Thersites in his rightful place, he cracks him with a “scepter across his back and shoulders,” teaching him to never speak out of turn again (2.309). Thersites’ attempt to make King Agamemnon the laughingstock backfires, and all the men begin to laugh at him (2.316).

Odysseus, known for being a “great tactician” and having a “mastermind like Zeus,” is not limited in who he is able to address (2.197, 202). Odysseus must still show respect when addressing the king. Achilles learns this lesson the hard way. Because of the way he speaks to King Agamemnon, he is stripped of his most precious prize, Briseis (1.190-3). Odysseus has shown arete (excellence in war) and continues to prove himself both a fierce fighter and a loyal soldier to the Achaean army. Because of this, there are no repercussions when addressing King Agamemnon directly. Odysseus is steadfast and logical. He pleads with King Agamemnon and his fellow Argives to remain courageous and to “hold out a little longer” (2.350). For nine years they have been fighting this battle against the Trojans, and to give up now will require them to leave empty-handed, resulting in “humiliation” when they return to their homeland (2.345-9). In a society that is primarily based on a martial code, retreating is simply not an option.

As this passage suggests, the warriors in battle are guided by the martial code. Heroic honor is determined by the courage that the warriors display, the difficulty of the test that the warrior is facing. Battle brings the highest honor while hunting and athletics acquire a lesser level of honor. Additionally, offering advice in council such as that of Nestor brings little honor (2.73-102). The physical abilities that a warrior possesses also aids in determining the heroic honor. The social status and the possessions of a warrior also contributes to determining the heroic honor of the warrior. Heroism seems to drive the actions to be undertaken, the fight between Achaean and Trojan heroes brings about life and death events where one has to be killed or get killed. Though mercy and pity are valued in this society, the heroes do not show any mercy to their living competitors (6.59-70).

According to the martial code, mercy and pity should be preserved for the outcomes after the battle. It is mainly portrayed to the survivors or the respected dead. The success in battle is shown by the acquiring of the dead bodies, defeated warriors’ weapons as presents, or by acquiring any other geras (battle prizes), for example Briseis (1.190-2). Family and personal orders are conserved despite the urge to fight for the calls of a person's homeland. If in any case the two types of honors; individual and patriotic conflict with one another, the individual honor is prioritized to the hero. The concern for a warrior's reputation and fame mainly contributes to the courageous and unwise actions that they mostly undertake.

Although there are many terms that are used to describe the society in Homer’s the Iliad, a warrior aristocracy is the most appropriate term when describing the society at whole. Although the epic poem centers around a war in which the Achaeans are fighting against the Trojans in attempt to take control of the city Troy, there are many smaller battles that take place within the Achaean army itself, making their fight against the Trojans more difficult.

The main characters in the poem are aristocrats who are expected to follow a code of value. All the heroes in Homer are men born in wealthy backgrounds. This is because winning and maintaining honor is an essential value for the Greeks which takes time and resources. Any male from a rich family in the Iliad has the main goal for kleos which is everlasting fame and glory. One can attain kleos by succeeding in the battlefield since honor is in self-risk. Kleos is only identified based on what others say a person’s actions over which one has no control over (2.848-77). In the Iliad, perception from others is more important compared to what one thinks of himself. Specific actions such as those that risk the life of a person can aid in attaining the glory. Kleos is a passage for a warrior to be remembered after his death. This is most important in this culture since it does not make much of the afterlife. Whenever songs are sang based on the warrior, his name is remembered at all times.

Each hero’s duty is to fight and the only approach he has of attaining triumph and immorality is the heroic activity on the battlefield. Thus, he consistently prepares his life for the life and death dangers during a fight. The Homeric hero believes that the male must work collaboratively in battle. They are to refrain from too much cruelty as well as respect each other. The hero is expected not to be reluctant about the deliberate actions of cruelty and injustice. If he is ready to kill a victim, he believes that he should be fast. He is not expected to have mercy on him (6.63-5). By being guided by the martial code, a hero gains a sense of decency and a reputation honor that ensures his chance in the public memory of the society.

The heroic Greek society in the Iliad has a great focus on time (honor) which is great honor and recognition for certain achievements. This mostly was presented in the form of material possession. Time can be lost and attained throughout a person's existence; it is mainly based on a person's actions. The characters in the Iliad are admired due to their braveness, strength, courage and mainly their achievements during battles. Whenever a warrior has arête he is given time due to his success which may transform into timeless kleos.

The values of heroic Greek society slightly differ from the current modern world. The heroes from the Greek society are chosen based on their physical appearance and battle achievements while in the modern society leaders are chosen based on their vision and knowledge. Additionally, the heroes in the Greek society do not differentiate between personal morals and conformity of the morals of the community rather they are mainly interested in his acceptance by the people since if he fails to conform, he risks anger from the people and consequently shame. Leaders of today’s society are not exalted to god-like statuses due to their looks. Through a democratic process, education and experience are what allows today’s leaders to become elected officials. This is not the case in heroic Greek society. Persons of power are placed in their appointed positions by the gods they serve. While the exalted in Homeric society are focused on obtaining as many prizes and as many kills as they possibly can, the leaders in today’s American society are primarily interested in making the lives of the people better for generations to come.