journal number 4

Beryl omeeboh
6 min readSep 24, 2020

On Thursday 9/17/20 we took a test, went over it and then we had a discussion.

In book 14, a lot is happening. In this chapter, Agamemnon keeps wanting to go back home because he thinks that the Trojans are going to win the battle. At this point, I’m starting to get tired of him saying stuff like this in nearly every chapter now because I’m not even part of the army and I’m getting tired of him. Imagine how his soldiers must feel. And the thing is that he makes these comments/speeches publicly (as far as I can tell) with little regard to how this reflects on his position as king or how the people who hear him might feel. Poseidon is still helping out the Achaeans in this chapter and Hera sees this and decides to help him out by distracting Zeus. How does she do this? The best way possible, by seducing him. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this because 1.) I can’t get over the fact that she’s seducing her brother/husband with no problem. It also makes me wonder if the gods have morals or not. Or whether they care bout incest or not. 2.) We have to remember that she’s doing this because she’s being petty over what Paris did. 3.) However, despite all this I can’t help but be proud of her for getting her way. Not only was she able to lie to Aphrodite, but she swayed Sleep and then eventually, Zeus. Talk about determination. I loved every second of her parts. So after Zeus falls asleep, Poseidon encourages the Achaeans back to war and the Trojans are taking a beating and being pushed back.

In book 15, Hera kind of made me mad. So after Zeus wakes up, he finds out that there’s been some plotting behind his back. He confronts Hera and this lady LIES straight to his face. She tells him that she wasn't involved and that she wasn't the one who made Poseidon help the Achaeans. Which isn't completely wrong but she didn’t exactly do much to stop him. If anything, she helped him out. And the fact that Zeus did not see this blew my mind. How are you supposed to be the most supreme/respected god but you can’t even detect a lie? Eventually, Zeus tells his plan of bringing Achilles back into the war and making the Achaeans win the war. And now, she’s thrilled and is going to help him make this happen. The other gods have different responses to Zeus’ anger. Ares (one of my favorite gods because I’m an Aries) is mad but Athena persuades him to back down. Poseidon gets kind of cocky but backs down. Because of this new plan in place, the Trojans start slaughtering the Achaeans. And the Achaeans are forced back into their ships. Sooooo because I remember part of this book/movie, I know that this is where things go left. I know that Patroclus is going to die and Achilles is going to be forced back into the war which ultimately leads to his death. And now I’m sad because I actually really liked Achilles (Brad Pitt).

In book 16, Patroclus goes into battle dressed as Achilles because Achilles doesn’t want to. At this point the Trojans are really advancing in on the Achaeans. So the Achaeans need some kind of courage/win. Achilles agrees to Patroclus’ plan, and prays to Zeus. Zeus, being the enormous ass that he is, decides to only grant part of Achilles prayer, deciding that Patroclus is going to die. So in the battle, Patroclus does a great job of imitating Achilles but pushes his luck (in my opinion) which ends up killing him. I didn’t understand why Apollo got involved in this chapter. Like at all. I feel like his presence was absolutely unnecessary and if anything, further leads to Patroclus’s death.

In book 17, soldiers on both sides fight over Achilles armor after Patroclus dies. This chapter I actually found that the gods kept playing “intervening ping-pong”. From Zeus, to Apollo to Athena. Also, it sucks that at this point Achilles doesn’t even know what’s happened to his best friend. Also (possibly the saddest part), even though Achilles doesn’t know his friend is dead, his horses do. I think at point the book mentions that they start crying and Achilles has to console them. I think that even though this is a book, this aspect is very real. Animals are very smart, and it sucks that they found out before him.

On Tuesday 9/22/20, we had a discussion in mini groups about our study habits. I didn't expect this to be the main topic of that day, but I did find it helpful because it helped me realize a couple of things. For instance, some people said that they find it easier to study on specific days because it’s what their schedule allows. Others said that they do it over a period of days because they can’t remember everything. I found that I shared some similarities with some students, which was cool. Lastly, I found that not every student was meeting the Medium writing requirements of 7 minutes to get an A. Out of all the topics, this made me the happiest because I felt reassured that I wasn’t the only person not making that time. Example: this girl (sorry, I don’t remember her name) said that she was only getting 4 minutes. For all of my journals I get 6 mins and I find it hard finding something to say that will complete that last minute that doesn’t sound forced.

After this, we talked about Hera, Zeus, and their relationship. We ended up having a discussion about how we would feel if someone told us that “out of all their lovers, they want me the most”. Now, I didn't say anything in class, but I found it shocking that most of the people who answered said that they would be offended if anyone said that to them.

Below are the discussion questions and my responses to them.

Spoiler alert: Patroclus dies in Book 16! What does he himself do to cause his death? Who else could also be seen as responsible? See, I knew that this would come up. I felt that he caused his death in 2 ways. 1.) he offered to help. Don’t get me wrong, it was an honorable thing to do, and I’m proud of him for it, but look at what happened: he died for what? 2.) I think this was the answer you were looking for. I think he didn’t keep a promise that he made to Achilles and I think that may have affected his fate as well. Another person that can be considered responsible is Achilles for letting his pride get in the way of him fighting in the battle. I understand being angry and wanting to preserve your honor, but if the lives of many people who you fight with are at stake then that should at least cause you to help somehow in the battle. If he had joined in earlier, the Achaeans would have won faster, they would have gone home faster, and Achilles wouldn’t have lost his best friend and consequently, his life.

When in the Iliad do the heroes behave like women or are compared to women? Do you see any patterns in how they are described? What is the effect of comparing heroes to women?

Ok, so I don’t remember all the instances where heroes are compared to women but what I do remember is that when they are being compared to women it’s usually not in a good way. There is a lot of sexism in the Iliad and women are usually seen as meek, and not important when talking about anything that’s not having kids, or their beauty.

I also had a question. Who made Zeus king of the gods? Why does what he says goes? I understand he killed Cronus but he had help from his siblings.