ENG 2205 Troy University The Fate of Achilles

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Question Description

  1. Ask yourself, “Why is this my favorite text?” and jot down your answers - be specific.
  2. Look over the list and compare your notes about the text you’ve chosen with the question areas from the “General Questions” handout (i.e. did you seem most to focus on the plot, the characters, the setting, or what?).
  3. Looking at the “General Questions” handout, ask yourself the questions under whichever heading you’ve chosen in regard to the particular work (preferably the particular character, episode, or feature of the particular work) you’ve chosen. Start writing down your answers to these questions, ideally in complete sentences, using brief, targeted quotes from the text to support your answers.
  4. Turn your answer(s) to one or more of these “General Questions” into an essay in which you TEACH a FELLOW READER (that is, someone who has also read the work in question, someone who DOES NOT NEED YOU TO SUMMARIZE) about the meaning of the text.
  5. Be sure you have a clear thesis statement and be sure you support that thesis.
  6. Be sure you have some organization for your essay, which, at a minimum, means paragraphs! Ideally, you will be building an argument that has at least a couple of propositions that need some support, and each of these propositions is likely to require writing at least one paragraph.
  7. Be sure you use at least a few concise quotes from the text that support your argument.
  8. Make it one page ONLY!

Attachment preview

 This handout is drawn from The American Short Story and Its Writer: An Anthology (Bedford/St. Martin’s: 1999), edited by Ann Charters. 

General Questions for the Analysis of Literature 

The following questions are designed to prompt your approaches to your reading and to preparing papers or notes for classroom discussion. It is by no means necessary to prepare systematic answers for all or any of the stories. Obviously not all questions need to be answered in relation to any particular story. But their best use might be in focusing your attention on one or another of those aspects the writer has managed in weaving the whole fabric of the story.  

EXPOSITION
AND SETTING 

1. How and when has the author introduced the main characters? 

2. How much background information or history has the author provided for them? At what point in the story, and by what means, is this background information brought in? What makes such backgrounding necessary or (in cases in which it is scanty or lacking altogether) unnecessary? Are the characters made quickly
comprehensible by representing them as familiar types? 

3. What means provide us with an understanding of the situation prevailing before the action, properly speaking, begins? To what extent is a prevailing and preexisting
conflict used as a jumping-off place for the present action of the story?  

Unformatted Attachment Preview

This handout is drawn from The American Short Story and Its Writer: An Anthology (Bedford/St. Martin’s: 1999), edited by Ann Charters. General Questions for the Analysis of Literature The following questions are designed to prompt your approaches to your reading and to preparing papers or notes for classroom discussion. It is by no means necessary to prepare systematic answers for all or any of the stories. Obviously not all questions need to be answered in relation to any particular story. But their best use might be in focusing your attention on one or another of those aspects the writer has managed in weaving the whole fabric of the story. EXPOSITION AND SETTING 1. How and when has the author introduced the main characters? 2. How much background information or history has the author provided for them? At what point in the story, and by what means, is this background information brought in? What makes such backgrounding necessary or (in cases in which it is scanty or lacking altogether) unnecessary? Are the characters made quickly comprehensible by representing them as familiar types? 3. What means provide us with an understanding of the situation prevailing before the action, properly speaking, begins? To what extent is a prevailing and preexisting conflict used as a jumping-off place for the present action of the story? 4. What is there of special interest or significance in the setting of the story? By what means are we informed about the details of the setting? At what point in the story? How is its relation to the signification of the action expressed? 5. Is the setting vividly represented or merely implied by the way in which events unfold? Has the author assumed that readers would be familiar with the significant qualities to be found in this setting? 6. How is the setting exploited to enhance or control the mood of the story? How does it help to bring out the feelings or emotions experienced by the characters? 7. In stories told in the first person, do we learn essential things about the narrator by the feelings or attention the narrator devotes to the setting? 8. Could the action take place meaningfully in another setting? That is – has the setting been chose arbitrarily, for its own sake, or because it has an integral connection to the action? plot – if it is noticeable at all – subordinate to the other elements? 2. To what extent does the action of the plot emerge from the kinds of characters depicted in the story and their relation to each other? 3. Are there any major breaks or omissions in the chain of causality that links the events or episodes of the plot? Is the outcome of the plot consistent with the actions that initiated it? If there is a surprise ending, does it emerge from some unforeseen but plausible change in direction of the plot line? 4. How is the plot related to the chronology of the story? That is, have some decisive actions, necessary to the plot, taken place before the narration begins? Is the narration halted with an implication of some event still to come that will round out the plot? 5. Test the plot for meaning and credibility by imagining alternative events which, at any point, might have made for a different outcome. 6. What motivations in the characters are necessary to move the plot along? CHARACTER AND CONFLICT 1. Who is the central character, or who are the central characters? What means has the author used to demonstrate their qualities? To what extent are the characters defined by contrast with minor characters? 2. Do we understand the characters as types or as individuals? By their actions? Their speech? Their thoughts? (It may be useful for you to pick a single instance of action, speech, or thought and ask in what ways it represents the character to whom it is attributed.) 3. Which characters are active and which passive within the pattern of the story? 4. Does the story show growth or change of characters? How much of the story’s meaning depends on such growth or change? 5. How much of the conflict in the story rises from an opposition between the central character and his or her environment? 6. Is the conflict inherent in the personality of the characters assembled by the author or in the backgrounds they represent? PLOT 7. How has the author worked to involve the reader’s sympathies for certain characters, and how does this contribute to the reader’s assessment of the issues of the conflict? 1. Do the meaning and emotional impact of this story heavily depend on the working out of the plot? Or is the 8. How much are the characters (or their representation) conditioned by their time and place? POINT OF VIEW AND PERSON OF NARRATION 1. Has the author confined the narration to a single point of view? Taking into account the nature of the material in the story, what apparent advantages lie in telling about it from the point of view actually chosen? 2. What potentially interesting aspects of the subject matter have been subordinated or omitted by the choice of point of view? 3. In first-person narration, to what extent does the author appear to have identified himself with the narrator? What has the author gained by keeping a distinction between himself and the personality of the narrator? 4. What would be gained or lost by changing the narration from first to third person, or vice versa? (Class exercises in rewriting parts of stories may be useful in support of this question.) 5. How is the point of view complemented by disciplines of style and diction? How do self-imposed limits of diction reinforce the emotional impact of a story or focus its meanings? 6. Is an illusion of reality enhanced by choice of point of view? A sense of immediacy? THEME 1. Does the story make a general statement about life or experience? Can it be stated in the form of a maxim? (The effort to reduce the meaning of any piece of fiction to a short, aphoristic summary can stumble all too readily into simplistic errors. A teacher should point out that summary of any theme is less than a complete understanding of the story from which it comes.) 2. Is the thematic statement accomplished chiefly by the outcome of the action? What qualifications and shadings are given to it by the awareness of the characters of what has happened to them? 3. What values and ideas have been put into the conflict from which the thematic statement comes? 4. Is the theme a traditional one? Has the story given a new twist to traditional wisdom? Where else – in literature, history, or religion – have you encountered a similar theme? Can you recall a poem or another story that makes a comparable thematic statement? DESCRIPTION, REPRESENTATION, AND SYMBOL 1. Pick out some examples of language used by the author to stimulate and control the reader’s visualization of the scene. Consider not only individual words and phrases but the accumulation and combinations of nouns, verbs, and their modifiers in paragraph structures. 2. How have the details chosen by the author given the essential appearance of the characters or scene? Is the story fully presented to your senses? Comment on the adequacy of the description. 3. Has the author relied on your familiarity with certain scenes, characters, and situations to fill in what has been omitted from the actual text of the story? 4. How has the objectively rendered action of the story helped you to understand the thoughts, emotions, and motivations of the characters? Can you fill in the thought processes of those characters whose thoughts are not described? 5. What objects, acts, or situations have a symbolic meaning? Are the characters aware of these symbolic meanings? Has the author used symbols as a means of communicating to the reader some meanings not implicit in the action and not understood by any character in the story? MODE (AS IT APPLIES) 1. What devices or instances has the author relied on to heighten the comic (pathetic, tragic, satiric, elegiac) effect of the story? 2. What exaggerations or distortions of reality do you find used to shape the material of the story to a particular purpose? Could the same material serve another purpose? (For example, in the case of comedy, could the material have been treated in a way that would produce a tragic effect?) 3. To what extent has the author manipulated the tone of the story to give a special flavor to the material? 4. With what views of life does this story fit best? 5. What satiric or ironic elements can you distinguish in the story? Do these dominate the whole story? Are they consistent with the overall quality of the story, or do they provide tension, variety, and suspense as you wait to learn what the author is really driving at? 6. Does the story appeal chiefly to a romantic or a realistic sensibility? Does it tend to stir up pity, contempt, amusement, awe, dismay, admiration, or a desire that life should be different than it is? ...
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ProfKelseyJ
School: UCLA

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Running Head: THE FATE OF ACHILLES & THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES IN THE ILIAD 1

The Fate of Achilles and the Shield of Achilles in the Iliad
Name
Institution
Course
Date

THE FATE OF ACHILLES & THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES IN THE ILIAD

2

Introduction
The shield has been portrayed as a representation of a microcosm of the civilized world
in Iliad. The description, symbols, and representation of the Achilles illustrate the fate of the
Achilles which has already been sealed and they can do little to change the situation. This essay
will argue that the fate of the Achilles and the shield of the Achilles in the Iliad was
predetermined and thus were destined to face negative outcome in their life.
The fate of Achilles in Iliad
The fate of the Achilles in Iliad has been vividly illustrated by t...

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