Reading guide for intro to The Iliad. Homer Blindness/insight Bards/rhapsodes Trojan War legend: Beauty contest: “To The Fairest” 3 goddesses An interesting dilemma for the males? Paris/Helen/Menelaus/Agamemnon. Epic Conventions (Purpose?) Invocation of the Muse In Medias Res
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Homer’s epics celebrate arete in the form of his most honored human characters: Odysseus, Penelope, Telemachus, Achilles, Hector. The sense of arete is of honor, of strength, of mobility and moral correctness, of courage and bravery, of intellect.
If we value arete, then we value the actions of human beings and measure our actions against those of other human beings.
How does such a commitment to excellence bind a culture together?
Do we Americans value arete in any form?
Is this a cultural value whose time has passed?
Do any subcultures that you are aware of practice the values of arete?