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Academic Bulletin Freshman Tutorials - 2010-11 - 10 FT 10

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FT 010-M Homer's Iliad and the Meaning of Masculine Heroism

Professor David Kubiak, Department of Classics, 9:45 TTh
The Iliad is the first work of European literature we possess. It is a poem about men and war, and in this tutorial we will read it with special attention to masculine heroic values and the ways they are exemplified by the characters of the epic, chiefly Achilles. Identity, duty, loyalty, bravery, the nature of friendship – the narrative investigates the meaning of all these things, and invites readers to do the same in their own lives. At the end of the course we will see directly the continued relevance of the Iliad by reading the book Achilles in Vietnam, written by a psychiatrist who found in his patients who were veterans of the Vietnam War many of the same problems faced by the Homeric heroes. We will also look at the recent film Troy as a modern treatment of the epic. Through discussing and writing about the Iliad, students will both sharpen their critical skills and come to know well one of the central works of the Western canon.

Kubiak, David P.
Credits: 1