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For this assignment, you will write a literary analysis on a close reading of Achilles’ portrayal as a tragic hero in the Iliad. Write an essay that is a close reading of Homer’s epic. The close reading will include a thorough analysis of something specific that focuses on one aspect of the text through an analysis on an introspective look at Achilles’ characterization to reach one original interpretation of the purpose of the work from your perspective. You are required to support your own original claims with citations from the text to prove point. Focus on solving an issue you have found within the text based on the prompt below and solve the issue through a historically based lens focusing on the context of the work in connection to the genre and the status of Achilles as an acclaimed epic hero. Define the qualities of an epic hero in the essay. Compare and contrast them to Achilles’ characterization to take a stance based on the prompt. It is only required that you cite from the literary work for this assignment. The essay is required to be five complete paragraphs. These paragraphs include an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. There should be six sentences per paragraph.
The prompt to address is as follows:
In the essay, focus specifically on this one aspect of interpretation. Use the information in the prompt and apply it to your interpretation.
The prompt to address is as follows:
Achilles meets the criteria for being defined as a tragic hero according to Aristotle. Accordingly, the hero must be born of a noble birth, they must be capable of something powerful, they must be flawed, and they must encounter some role reversal. Scholars still debate as to whether Achilles should be considered a tragic hero due to his rash actions.
Take a stance as to whether Achilles should be identified as either a tragic hero or an anti-hero through a psychoanalytic approach by examining the following:
Is Achilles’ anger a vice as presented in the Iliad, or can his anger be interpreted as a virtue through the notion of righteous anger and indignation? Is it possible for Achilles’ absolute virtues to outweigh his “id”, reflecting one of his less than heroic mortal flaws? Why or why not? Does he strive to surpass the powers of the gods unknowingly for personal gain to become a hero? Does his pride (hubris) and anger ironically get in the way of this goal due to the circumstances leading him to be considered less than a hero? How does this impact the balance and state of the entire cosmos based on how the gods respond to Achilles’ actions?
The following series of questions are written to guide you as you pinpoint valid reasons from the epic to support your stance. Your stance, reasons, and examples should be specific.
Achilles’ hamartia is the following: it is the heel that his mother held him by when she dipped him into the river Styx to make him strong. This leads to the definition of Achilles as a tragic hero due to his fatal flaw. Can his indignation be seen as symbolic of this?
A close reading of the work will focus on an analysis of Achilles’ characterization. You can write about what literary elements used in the work captures the traits of the epic hero. What traits define the protagonist within the scope of the genre and the historical elements within the plot? When analyzing the imagery in the text based on Achilles’ characterization, focus on symbolism, among other literary techniques within plot to explore and examine. Analyze the epic hero’s traits based on a focus on specific patterns in the plot, as well as the stylistic devices that Homer uses to define the tone and mood through the language used, as this impacts Achilles’ actions and motivations. For a textual analysis, you will need to have your own original claims that argue a point you are making with specific quotes or paraphrases from the work that support your interpretation to cite in MLA format. You will only need the text used for the close reading to cite. However, you may include additional scholarly sources, as well such as peer reviewed journals, books, and periodicals only.
You will need to write a detailed close reading of the work that is five paragraphs. It should be around three to four pages in length.
You will need an introductory paragraph that includes an intriguing topic sentence that presents an overview of the purpose of the paper, the background context of the work, the issue you will be focusing in on, and a response to a particular portion of the prompt that focuses in on a specific aspect of Achilles’ characterization. State the poem’s title and the author’s name when introducing the work in the introduction. Present background context that is necessary regarding the epic. Then, map out an overview of the main points you will discuss in each body paragraph that will lead into the thesis. The thesis will respond to a debatable interpretation regarding Achilles’ traits and motivations in a clear, specific statement based on the prompt. Each paragraph will be focused in on one main idea that you will be arguing to prove how you can interpret Achilles’ characterization from your point of view.
The three body paragraphs will begin with a transition sentence that connects the main idea in the last paragraph to the present. A complex sentence is useful to formulate a specific transition sentence. Present necessary background information that gradually leads into a specific claim of interpretation. A claim is an opinion or belief. It may also be a fact that must be defended. Focus on ethical, logical, or emotional appeals that will impact your reader’s views as you make specific claims. After bringing in any necessary background information, present an original claim of interpretation. You will, then, use a specific quote or a paraphrase from the text that will be used to prove your point. Focus on the most specific quote that can be used to prove your point. Avoid quotes that exceed more than two lines. Block quotes may only be used once or twice in a paper. They must be fully analyzed and defended. After citing, you will, then, document each quote in MLA format. Cite with a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence that is quoted or paraphrased. Cite the line number(s) in brackets at the end of the sentence after each citation. The citation should be as follows: (Homer. line number) Always lead into the quote by stating which character is speaking or give the context of what is going on in the plot before citing. You will, then, explain what the quote means to provide context for your reader and analyze how the citation proves your claim. Give specific examples and illustrations explaining how the quote or paraphrase proves your point based on Achilles’ motivations. Bring in a psychoanalytical approach as you examine the epic hero’s actions, traits, and convictions. Is Achilles a genuine character based on his beliefs? Why or why not? Focus on matters of self-deception and deceit. Furthermore, focus on the diction the author uses to examine certain concepts, ideals, and symbols that can be used to prove your point of analysis. Requote the diction that stands out as you interpret it. Examine literary devices found in the citation as a mode of interpretation as you focus on the language the speaker uses to describe Achilles. Analyze the language the author uses to prove your point as you examine the mood and tone of the excerpt in connection to your claims based on his portrayal. Focus on the authorial tone. You will, then, repeat this cycle until you reach the conclusion. The conclusion sentence of each body paragraph will explain how the paragraph proves your thesis. Be as thorough as possible.
Paragraphs that are half a page are acceptable, but they are not acceptable if they reach three-fourths of the page.
Also, a works cited page is required in MLA format 9th ed.
You will, then, write a conclusion paragraph that will explain how your paper proved your point in detail. What examples and illustrations proved your claims and citations in each paragraph? Explain the purpose of your paper in a greater context. Call to action and explain how your analysis of the work can be used to solve societal, historical, or other issues that are important in our world today. What life lessons and values can be learned from Achilles’ characterization from your point of view. How is the piece timeless? Present an overview of the values that are shown in your interpretation and why they are meaningful. Focus on an ethical conclusion to appeal to your audience.
Always write using formal diction. Address the audience, knowing that you have a specific purpose and goal you will achieve through your analysis. Use language that is appropriate for your audience. Define all your terms. Present your claims as though they are known facts, since you are certain you can prove your point. Avoid any slang or jargon. Do not use the following nouns: “it” “everyone” “everything” “thing” or any other vague words. Use specific language when you write. Do not use the first person. Think about your word choice regarding the context of the topic. Be as descriiptive as possible, while being as clear and concise as possible. All sentences should be complete, as there should be no fragments. Do not use run-on sentences. Vary your syntax between simple and complex sentences. All paragraphs and sentences should have ideas that connect in a cohesive way. All paragraphs should be well developed, and the ideas should be arranged in an organized way.
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