Write on one of the following topics:
Aristotle said that the man who is incapable of working in common, or who in his self-sufficiency has no need of others, is no part of the community, and is like a beast or a god. Discuss the character of Achilles in light of this statement. Use plenty of examples, details, references, and quotations in the response.
In spite of the constraints imposed by the formulaic language of the oral tradition, Homer, according to one critic, “sees his people as individually distinct and makes us aware of their individuality.” Discuss the ways Homer succeeds in presenting as differentiated individuals Hector, Nestor, Ajax, Odysseus, Agamemnon, Priam, and Phoenix. How does Homer make his characters individuals? Give plenty examples and references to the text in your response.
For a complete primary source, use The Iliad and search for the listed books.
Homer’s preferred medium of poetic comparison is simile rather than metaphor, and his similes are “extended.” The simile does more than establish a likeness between A and B; it goes on to describe B in great detail, some of the details not like A at all. Yet, these details, the apparent development of B for its own sake, often do suggest points of comparison that lie below the surface, and often, too, they make significant comments on broader aspects of the situation in which they appear. Discuss the function of the extended or epic simile in at least three of the following passages: