We have more battling between the two sides, with more conniving and dishonestly displayed by the gods, and Agamemnon continues to display a concerning lack of leadership.
In these sections the epic lives up to its reputation of being a “poem of death,” but in spite of this title, you can still see very human exchanges between characters. I’m going to try to pick out some of these more human elements.
In Book XI there are a number of similes (a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid) so be on the lookout!
As we read along, we are experiencing different characters’ aresteias, the peculiar and capricious behavior of the gods, bravery and cowardice and now, in these upcoming chapters we’ll see the art of persuasive reasoning. The Iliad truly has many things to offer!
I’ve been having some computer problems but am still almost on track as the read continues. I hope that you’re all enjoying it. Once you become familiar with the characters, the interplay between and around them is fascinating. In these next books, we learn more about Diomedes, are introduced to Hektor’s family and learn more about the ancient Greek worldview. And, of course, the gods work towards fate often in confusing ways, as the story unfolds.
The Achaians advance across the plain and the Trojans move to meet them. Alexandros (Paris) struts out to challenge any of the Argive leaders, yet when Menelaus, the husband of Helen, steps forward, in cowardice Alexandros/Paris shrinks back to disappear among the fighters. Hektor, shamed by his brother’s behaviour, rebukes him firmly:
Normally with my read-alongs, I post my summaries and comments at the end of the week of the scheduled read to allow people to absorb the work before they read what I have to say. But this poem can be a little overwhelming on a first read with all its different names and unfamiliar customs, so I’m going to TRY and post as the beginning or middle of the scheduled section. Hopefully my posts can help you navigate through it and perhaps add some understanding to assist you on your way.
Before the read-along begins on January 1st, I thought it would be helpful to post a schedule. To make it through the poem in a short enough time to keep up momentum, and a long enough time to allow us to appreciate it, I’m scheduling approximately 2 books (chapters) each 5 days which will be as follows:
Well, I’ve been encouraged very nicely by some Goodread’s friends to host a the Iliad read-along in 2020. Because of my love of Greek literature and always wanting to share that love, I’ve agreed to do it. It’s probably crazy, piggybacking it on my The House of Mirth read-along, never mind The Art of Loving and The Four Loves read-alongs before that, but those who know me will agree that it’s not surprising. Ha, ha!
So here we go ….!!!!