Book 18: Achilles Decision: Summary for OCR Classic Civ Spec

Book 18: Achilles Decision

1-147 Antilochus brings news of Patroclus’ death. Achilles collapses in grief, and his mother Thetis, hearing his crier, arrives with her sea-nymphs to lament. Achilles says he will have his revenge by killing Hector and ignore Thetis’ warning that this death will soon follow after Hector’s.

148-242: Achilles makes an appearance on the battlefield and with Athene’s help routs the Trojans with a shout. Patroclus’ body is brought back to the Greek camp [night before 27th day]

243-314: Terrified by Achilles’ return, the Trojans hold an assembly. Polydamus recommends withdrawal to Ilium, Hector, wrongly convinced Zeus is on his side, rejects this advice and wins Trojan approval to continue the attack next morning.

314-68: Achilles laments Patroclus, foreseeing his own death but anticipating revenge on Hector. The body is washed, anointed and clothed, and lamentation continues throughout the night. Hera gloats to Zeus over her success in bringing Achilles back into the fighting

369-467: Thetis arrives at Hephaestus’ home and asks for armour

468-617: Hephaestus returns to his forge to make armour for Achilles. This shield is described in detail.

 

Literary Context

Oral Tradition

  • List of Nereids coming out of sea: verbal monotony of more and more and more goddesse

themes within the epics including: 

heroism

  • Achilles hope that he can survive to kill Hector
  • All hope dashed after Thetis reveals his prophecy
  • Achilles confronts his mistake in quarrelling with Agamemnon
    • Says he must let it go; now realises he much win glory by slaying Trojans and most of all, Hector

honour and reputation

  • Achilles now realises he much win glory by slaying Trojans and most of all, Hector
    • f Aeneas: Achilles has no choice but to fulfil his fate
      • But one’s fate is to win personal glory, the other’s is a public glory to found a nation

Family

Women

  • Thetis strong minded and resolute: but can’t do anything to change her sons fate 321
    • f Hecabe and Hector B6 different: mum, vs wife
  • Thetis doesn’t necessary try and stop Achilles from going to war: but still tries to delay him
    • f Andromache B6

the role of the gods

  • Prophecy of Thetis: that her son will grow to be even more powerful than her father
    • Zeus makes her procreate with a mortal: so less danger
  • Huge list of goddesses and Nereid’s shows scale of goddess involvement
  • Even a goddess, Thetis strong minded and resolute: but can’t do anything to change her sons fate 321
    • f Hecabe and Hector B6 different: mum, vs wife
  • Achilles asked for Greeks to start losing: and they did: as Thetis points out
  • Iris intervenes to prevent Hector from taking body away by talking to Achilles 324

the power of fate

  • Thetis predicts: fates that best of Myrmidons will fall to the Trojans 321
  • Are female slaves mourning Patroclus or Achilles future death?? Ambiguity pg. 320
  • Thetis takes Achilles head in her hands- as if mourning his death? Pg. 321
  • Thetis strong minded and resolute: but can’t do anything to change her sons fate 321
    • f Hecabe and Hector B6
    • Some control: prolongs fate: tells him to wait until she can give him armour: but he doesn’t listen later on…
  • Thetis announces that Achilles will die immediately after Hector

the portrayal of war

  • Death of Patroclus cannot even make Achilles talk pg320 tears at clothes and hair: sack cloth and ashes- C.F bible, C.F KING LEAR
  • Tragic: Achilles decision caused much suffering: including his own with Patroclus

 

 moral values

  • Tragic: Achilles decision caused much suffering: including his own with Patroclus
  • Achilles wishes rivalry was banished from the world: gods and men: blames his rivalry with Agamemnon as cause for all suffering

role of Aeneas in Rome’s imperial destiny.

Historical Context

Virgil’s relationship to the regime of Augustus;

the political and historical background in which the Aeneid/Iliad  was written.

 

 

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