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Fate in the iliad

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  • 1. FATE IN THE ILIAD Red figure pot, Rape of Cassandra 430 B.C. A PHILOSOPHICAL OR LITERARY DEVICE?
  • 2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES Aims: To develop themes of fate in the Iliad. Objectives: 1. 2. 3. 4. Students will discuss the nature of fate. Students will evaluate Homers use of fate in the Iliad. Students will identify key passages & quotes to illustrate their opinions. Students will discuss the exam questions from a past paper.
  • 3. AN EXAM QUESTION TO CONSIDER: • In the Iliad fate makes all the actions of mortal and immortal characters pointless. Discuss.
  • 4. WHAT IS FATE? • What is your definition of fate? • Do you believe in fate? • Can fate and freewill co-exist? • Can fate and morality co-exist? • If fate can be altered is it still fate?
  • 5. • Zeus and Hera, Renaissance statue.
  • 6. FATE IN MYTHOLOGY • In theory everyone believed that your fate was controlled by the three weavers called ‘the fates’. • You died when your thread was cut. • You had an allotted fate and could not exceed it. • Gods are bound by fate with the exception of Zeus whose relationship is more complicated.
  • 7. ZEUS AND FATE • Book 4 lines 8-19 suggest Troy’s fate is not fixed. • Zeus is goading his wife but if fate is totally fixed why does it have an effect? • Is this a literary device to create tension? • If Zeus had made peace what other ‘fates’ would have been broken?
  • 8. • The Death of Sarpedon, Red Figure pot 550 B.C. by Euphronius
  • 9. ZEUS AND FATE 2 1. Zeus won’t intervene to protect his own son, Sarpedon. 2. In Book 15 lines 62-70 Sarpedon’s fate is fixed. 3. However in Book 16 lines 434 – 440 Zeus debates saving his life. 4. Zeus never actually changes a prophesised fate.
  • 10. SOME KEY POINT IN BOOKS 1-6 • Zeus and Thetis Book 1 lines 522 – 528. • The Greeks almost go home Book 2 line 156. • Athene enforces fate Book 5 line 673. • Hector and fate Book 6 lines 487- 494. Find other 2 other examples in the text that you think would help you answer the exam question.
  • 11. SOME OF MY THOUGHTS ON FATE IN HOMER • Fate is immutable but we can choose how we met it. • Zeus has the power to change fate but is aware that the consequences are not worth it. • Mortals always seem to act as if their fate can be changed. • There is no consistent depiction of fate.