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Lecture 5

CLA160H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Trojan War, Type Scene, Simile

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Timothy Perry

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CLA 236 Feb. 1 Iliad 16-24 Homeric Poetry
Homeric simile
Homeric code later books of the Iliad the plight of hector
Iliad 18 shield of Achilles
Mid Term first hour covering everything up this lecture, Iliad, Hesiod
25 percent, out of 50, two sections 20 marks and commentary 30 marks, short answer based on the
poems, testing knowledge what happens, some questions formal aspects, formulas type scene, major
historic aspects, actual paper, one line, point form, name, commentary passages taken out of the
poems, short sections a few lines, half dozen lines, 5 out of 3, 10 marks, apply things on class relevant
Such as the embassies, arming of Agamemnon, oral formula, type scenes Homeric code, parallels,
similes, phoenix one and a half, two pages for each double spaced, little bit oral type scene and fits in
the story more generally, no summarizing, no summary of the plot, where it fits in the plot, compare
parallel passages, don’t need know all the alliances, catalogue, progresses the plot, embassy, heroes
don’t need to know all the surrounding figures, major figures on each side, diomedes
Similes in the Homeric epic, one object or phenomenon compared to another … aka Ajax attacked, ass
being beaten by a boy beaten by sticks
Similes of battle scenes break up boring repeating parts, battle lines, compared line measure for
timbers two straight lines
Iliad full of comparisons all through the poem best known features of Homeric poetry common
in the Iliad than the odyssey, more comparisons, complex ways
The length of the similes
Multiple points of comparison often implied
Three categories according to subject matter
Natural phenomena
Hunting, herding
Human technology
Similes sometimes found in groups
May function for an epithet, i.e. Hero like a god … Achilles like a god
Stirred men compared to fawns short simile
Sometimes similes are much more extended 6 10 lines more complicated longer
Heroes compared to lions, boars, wild animals, the phrases is rarely repeated exactly
Slightly different manner
Even the long similes only one specific point, ex. Iliad 8, L641-649 campfires watch fires
compared to the skies the number of fires and the number of stars in the skies
Other things being compared for instance, the high spirits of the Trojans, Sheppard was exalted
by looking at the sky, implied not made apparent
Hector the greatest of the Trojan warriors, the moon, stars and the moon is bigger glory aka
hector, not made explicit
Iliad 24, 560 568 part of the descripition of priams unexpected hut in Achilles body of the son
hector compared to a murderer who turns up unexpectedly to a rich man , Achilles is the rich
man, priam is the murder
Illiad 17 758, Melauns trying to find nestor compared to the eagle, melanuas, looking like an
eagle, like a hare, two points suggest antilouchus stalking him like prey, the are the same side,
actually seeing that he is still alive and doing well in battle no hostile intent at this point simile
comparison doesn’t seem to work, careless what simile he chose
Subject matters of similes 130 140 long similes

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Storms lightening natural,
Hunting and herding, aggression of a wild animal, lots of them a herd being attacked by a lion,
the herdsmen trying to fend of a lion or human hunters trying to track down and animal
Human technology, for instance similes carpentry, cut timber from ships straight line in the
battle lines, agricultural scenes, weaving, Ajax beating up like an ass from boys, agriculture
All three the aspect of nature, used rather differently especially third categories,
1st is hostile, floods, storms, human life,
2nd animals dangerous natural world outside human culture aggressive dangerous has to be
confronted for instance fight off hunters, wild beasts
3rd present positive view of nature human kind working productively tame nature thought
Many similes provide contrast peaceful and warfare, in particular 3rd one, not all, intense violence of war
first 2 of the similes
Stimulate audiences imagination, scene more vivid, the audience to relate to
Achieved experiences contemporary everyday life, agriculture, natural phenomena, relate too
rather than war normal people would not relate too
Grouping of similes
6 or 7 in a row, importance moment, event, plot, particular important moment pay attention to
Different sorts of grouping
Two similes two armies, Achaean compared to one thing, Trojan compared to another book 4,
Trojans sheep in an enclosure, Achaean waves brush on shore
Highlight similarities and differences, both enormous size, wave after wave, thousands of sheep
Differences, Achaeans order, Trojans chaotic
Poet sympathetic , no bad guys, sometimes favor Achaean side over the Trojans, waves
crashing, dignified, compared to flock of sheep, not good, waiting to be milked
Describes two warriors, to battle each other duels, one each of the two warriors
Two similes describe the same thing, object, for instance, Achilles book 20 battle, human fire
raging on, setting ablaze timber chaos fire, compared to a wild fire like the mountains,
thundering ox, suddenly compared to an ox completely different , natural phenomenon and
then agriculture scene different aspects of Achilles, fire unpredictable, the ox expresses violence
contrast peaceful vigorous , violent action contrast,
Sequence of similes
Not common, few occasions reserved moments, catalogue of the ships in Iliad 2, composition of
the poem
7 similes one after the other, Achaean troops, 7 separate things, wild fire, flock of birds, flies,
herds, flowers, Agamemnon gods, a bull leaving the heard L539
Great variety different aspects of the army,
Effect is cinematic particular zoom in the army, broad shot, leader of the army, surrounded by
his troops
Focus tighter and tighter, fire, birds, great numbers now divided, flies around a bucket more
focused, herds divided up individual leaders, Agamemnon and the bull is the leader combined
effect zoom in broad army to Agamemnon
Iliad 16 Death of Patroclus
Constantly delayed to build suspense
Foreshadows the death of Achilles
Patroclus killed wearing Achilles armor,
11 suggests this would happen, 4 books to build suspense
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