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Rewriting the Story of Achilles - From today's

Nearly 3,000 years since he was immortalized in Homer's epic "The Iliad," the Greek hero Achilles is still getting literary makeovers. He has appeared in Dante's "Inferno," Shakespeare's "Troilus and Cressida" and the "Captain Marvel" comic-book series. A recent cluster of novels have featured the warrior, including Zachary Mason's "The Lost Books of the Odyssey," literary writer David Malouf's 2009 novel "Ransom" and paranormal-romance writer P.C. Cast's "Warrior Rising," a romantic caper based on the Trojan War (complete with steamy cover art of Achilles' bare chest).


Selections for Sappho

Of the poems of Sappho, these are not to be missed, and we will discuss them, among others, in class. The reference numbers are first to the page number in the Barnstone translation (Shambhala edition) followed by the tradtional fragment number:

"Prayer to Afroditi" p 3/f 1

"The Virgin" p 18/f 105a, c

"Seizure" p 43/f 31

"Alone" p 44/f 168b

"Supreme Sight on the Black Earth" p 46/f 16

"Sweetbitter" p 58/f 130

"No Oblivion" p 109/f 95

Iliad selections for discussion (Part 2)

Following is Part 2 of a list of passages from the selected Book for focused discussion (Line numbers referring to the Fagles translation):

Book 16

  • Patroclus, 32-78, 951-1000 ("But you are intractable, Achilles!"), ("Hector waiting, watching")

Book 18

  • The Shield of Achilles, 558-709 ("And first Hephaestus makes a great and massive shield")

Book 21

  • Xanthus, 350-58, 418-27 ("Oh dear brother, rise! Both of us together"), ("Oh Hera--why?)

Book 22

  • Hector, 418-59 ("At the point of death, Hector, his helmet flashing")

Book 24

  • Priam & Achilles, 570-788 ("Remember your own father, great godlike Achilles--")