Iliad Essay Topics
1. Achilles’ mom Thetis always seems to know Zeus’s will, which she communicates to her son. She also seems to know Achilles has some sort of destiny to fulfill, and that he will die young. On the other hand, Achilles also seems to believe he has a choice in the matter, which is why he frequently considers sailing home but never does. How does Achilles’ conviction that, in exchange for risking his life, Zeus is supposed to grant him great honor (1.366ff) play into the story?
2. Despite his flaws, Achilles might be said to be the embodiment of a “Greek hero” in the sense that he rushes forward into battle, even though he knows he is going to die, in order to attain honor and glory for himself. After Achilles seems to show compassion for all that Priam has endured-and the Trojans are “humanized”–is it possible that he will have a change of heart and not attack Troy? Do we have any indication from the text as to what he is going to do? Does Homer want to give us hope that Hector’s family will be saved? Or do with think they are doomed?? What do you think Achilles will do? What does clues does Homer give us as to what will happen next?

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