Questions from Iliad and Odyssey

Iliad and Odyssey Quiz
Questions from Iliad and Odyssey
The Iliad Book I
1. Who is responsible for the anger of Achilles?
2. Why do you suppose the Iliad begins NOT with the start of the Trojan War, or even the abduction of Helen, but with a relatively minor incident during a pause in the fighting?
3. What does Athena’s intervention tell us about the role of the gods and goddesses in the Iliad?
4. Are the gods in the Iliad what you expected them to be? How do they surprise you?
5. If gods are presented as irresponsible (as Homers gods seem to be), do you think that encourages the people who worship them to be more responsible or less responsible? Why?
6. If the Greek gods are presented as very powerful, what does that do to the conception of freedom? Do the Greek heroes of the Iliad seem free? Do they seem to value freedom?
Odyssey Book IX
7. After Odysseus and his men have eaten their fill of goats and wine, what motivates Odysseus to lead his men further into the center of the island of the Cyclops? Why doesn’t he simply leave and sail on home? What does he want to find out? What does this desire suggest one of the weaknesses is in clever and intelligent people?
8. What gift does Odysseus take with him when he goes to see the Cyclops? How does this gift end up saving the lives of Odysseus and his men?
9. Why does Odysseus lie and say that his ship was smashed when the Cyclops asks its location?
10. What does the Cyclops do to two of Odysseus men? Why is this action particularly ironic given the Greek customs of the laws of hospitality?
11. Where do Odysseus and his men hide their wooden stake in the cave? How many men does it take to pick up this huge stake?
12. What does Odysseus tell the Cyclops his (Odysseus) name is? Why does this turn out to be clever and humorous? What does it turn out is the Cyclops own name?
13. How or where do Odysseus men injure the Cyclops? Why didn’t they just stab him in the heart? How does this connect with the way they escape the cave?
14. What personality trait do you suppose motivates Odysseus desire to
reveal his true name to the outsmarted Cyclops? What does this suggest is another weakness of intelligent people? How does that revelation of his name cause problems for the voyage home?
15.Who is the father of the Cyclops named Polyphemus? Why is that bad news for someone trying to sail home?

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