The Iliad Book 9 questions

Book 9

  • If the Iliad is about “the rage of Achilles,” how does Book 9 amplify or contribute to this theme?  Has Achilles changed?
  • What is your reaction to Agamemnon’s offer to Achilles?  Would you accept it?  Can you think of anything that is missing?
  • Why are Odysseus, Phoenix, and Ajax chosen to deliver Agamemnon’s offer to Achilles?  Do you think it’s strange that Agamemnon doesn’t join the embassy?
  • Analyze Book 9 as a rhetorical situation.  What does each of the speakers say to Achilles, and how does he say it?  Do you find their arguments persuasive?  Do you feel that Achilles’ resistance is justified?  Is there any change at all in Achilles’ position at the end of Book 9?
  • In what ways does Book 9 reveal Achilles to be a hero that is not only extreme in his passion for violence and warfare, but insightful and philosophical in his efforts to understand himself and the situation he is in?
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