The Iliad, writing homework help: Why do think Achilles compares

  1. Why do think Achilles compares Patroclus to a “little girl” (305)? What do you think Achilles is feeling here? What point(s) could Homer be making here?
  2. Why do you think Achilles lets Patroclus go and fight for him? (See pp. 306-08, 310-12.) Describe Achilles’ state of mind in this scene, concentrating on his use of the word “honor” (lines 84-101). What do you think of Achilles’ wish at the top of p. 308?
  3. Do you think Achilles to blame for Patroclus’ death? Is Patroclus partially responsible?
  4. Why do you think Patroclus’ death is so different from other deaths? Name his killers (357). (See 18.490, 19.442-3.) Why do you think there are so many? Why do you think Homer calls Patroclus “you” after p. 325?
  5.  Is it OK to boast and trash talk or not? (See pp. 323, 327, 330.)
  6. What do you think Achilles’ (old) armor could symbolize? Notice what happens to whoever tries to wear this armor.
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