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Non-classics student, EPQ Classics - Masculinity within the Iliad watch

    • Thread Starter

    I realise my rather jumpled title probably doesn't make a huge amount of sense, however if you're reading this then it caught your attention. Thus serving its purpose.

    I'm an A2 student, studying History, Economics and English Lit, with the addition of an EPQ in which I'm focusing on Literature/Classics, The Iliad to be more precise. I plan to study Ancient History at university and already hold a great interest in Ancient History and classics, so despite never taking a lesson in Classics, I feel I have a good enough comprehension and competence to understand it.

    Broadly, I will be looking at masculinity within the Iliad. I was unsure whether to narrow this down to warriors, or a certain character. However, I have a 5k word count, so I feel I may just keep it broad.

    As part of the EPQ process, there needs to be evidence of research and I feel an interesting way of researching could be to get the ideas of my peers, whether GCSE/A Level/University/or anybody in general, who has some input, all would be appreciated. (BTW, I am doing my own personal research and my own ideas, just simply looking for different perceptions)

    So, if you have anything you could suggest in regards to masculinity within the Iliad (ie: themes, masculinity of certain characters etc, of course something that could be argued (or counter argued) in an essay, I would appreciate your views greatly. You of course would be fully credited within the essay.


    You'd probably have to look into this in more depth by reading the whole book, but an idea which comes across in the Iliad a lot which concerns masculinity is the idea that once a warrior is slain they are almost 'emasculated' and stripped of their masculine identity which asserts themselves as a bold and prominent warrior - look at Book 22 for an example of this, when Hektor is slain the spear is implanted into his corpse by the Achaeans and this can be read by a lot of critics as a sly allusion to 'penetration' i.e sex for a woman thus in this (one of several senses regarding only one hero's death) you might like to read a bit into as it raises interesting ideas r.e gender and indeed masculinity within the text. The Iliad is a great choice for there are so many issues regarding masculinity which can be explored!

    Hi if I were to argue this I would probably argue something along the lines of only male warriors are seen as a proper greek men and mostly only those warriors who are particularly good. Other men in the Iliad who prefer to worry about looks rather than fighting i.e Paris are mocked for their cowardly behaviour and forced to fight people who they know they have little chance of winning against for example in book 3 when Paris is mocked when he is a coward and backs down from a fight with Menelaus, a far superior warrior who Paris is basically forced to fight by his brother Hector and similarly Hector is forced by himself to face Achilles in book 23 in order to preserve his status as a warrior, his pride and masculinity. Hope that was vaguely helpful. : )

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