Culture Analysis Paper 2: Homer
Within the selected reading, there are several major characters, such as Achilleus (Mack 70), Hera (Mack 71), Agamemnon (Mack 71), Zeus (Mack 72), Thetis (Mack 82), Athena (Mack 74), Hektor (Mack 26), Odysseus (Mack 80), Patroklos (Mack 40), Paris (Mack 59) and Helen (62). There also are a significant number of minor characters; most notable among them were Hephaistos (Mack 84) and Priam (Mack 76). Each lived with the time period of ancient Greece/Asia Minor with the theme of the story centering on participants succumbing to their impulses for lust, greed and power. As for the genre of the story, it would be best categorized as an epic poem of a dramatic nature.
In Book 1, Homer, the author of the Iliad, called upon the muse (goddess of poetry and inspiration) to aid him in telling the story of Achilleus. The epic began with Chryses, the priest of the god Apollo, who had gone to the Greek camp to ransom his captive daughter, Chryseis, from King Agamemnon (Mack 70). Summarily insulted, threatened and sent on his way, Chryses invokes the wrath of Apollo, resulting in a terrible plague on the Greeks. Inspired by the goddess Hera, Achilleus calls an assembly to end the plague. The prophet Kalchas revealed that Apollo was angered by Agamemnon's refusal to return the priest's daughter to him (Mack 71, 72). Reluctantly, Agamemnon agreed to return her to Chryses, but demanded compensation - Achilleus' war prize, the captive woman, Briseis. This provoked Achilleus' anger, and after the monarch and warrior exchange threats and angry words, Agamemnon followed through on his claim. The goddess Athena quickly appeared to prevent Achilleus from killing Agamemnon by promising that he will one day be compensated with three times as many prizes (Mack 74). Meanwhile, the efforts of Nestor, King of Pylos, fail to forge peace between the Greeks and Trojans (Mack 75). While Agamemnon's men take Briseis from Achilleus,...