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Iliad Test Study Guide

posted Sep 23, 2013, 11:58 AM by Naomi Kirchner
Answers are attached!


1. Epic hero

2. Epic poem

3. Homeric simile

4. Homeric epithet

5. Media res


6. .  How the Trojan War began and ended

7. Who was Achilles?


Read the following passage and answer the following questions.

Prium and Hecuba with many tears implored their son, but they

moved not the heart of Hector, and he stood his ground awaiting

huge Achilles as he drew nearer towards him. As serpent in its

den upon the mountains, full fed with deadly poisons, waits for

the approach of man—he is filled with fury and his eyes glare                  5

terribly as he goes writhing round his den—even so Hector leaned

his shield against a tower and stood where he was, undaunted.



"Alas," said he to himself in the heaviness of his heart, "if I

go within the gates, Polydamas will be the first to heap reproach

upon me, for it was he that urged me to lead the Trojans back to                           10

the city on that awful night when Achilles again came forth

against us. I would not listen, but it would have been indeed

better if I had done so. Now that my folly has destroyed the

host, I dare not look Trojan men and Trojan women in the face,

lest a worse man should say, 'Hector has ruined us by his                     15

self-confidence.' Surely it would be better for me to return                                      

after having fought Achilles and slain him, or to die gloriously

here before the city. What, again, if I were to lay down my

shield and helmet, lean my spear against the wall and go straight

up to noble Achilles? What if I were to promise to give up Helen,                       20

who was the fountainhead of all this war, and all the treasure

that Alexandrus brought with him in his ships to Troy, aye, and                         

to let the Achaeans divide the half of everything that the city

contains among themselves? I might make the Trojans, by the

mouths of their princes, take a solemn oath that they would hide                       25

nothing, but would divide into two shares all that is within the

city—but why argue with myself in this way? Were I to go up to                            

him he would show me no kind of mercy; he would kill me then and

there as easily as though I were a woman, when I had off my

armour. There is no parleying with him from some rock or oak                           30

tree as young men and maidens prattle with one another. Better

fight him at once, and learn to which of us Zeus will vouchsafe


8.  What is the literary term for lines 3-7?  Summarize what image these lines are presenting and how it effects our perception of Hector.

9. Who is the “he” bolded in the first line of the second stanza?

10. What is Hector thinking in lines 13-15?

11. What is Hector imagining in lines 17-24?

12. Ultimately, what does Hector decide to do in this passage?

Naomi Kirchner,
Sep 23, 2013, 4:43 PM