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Why were Homer's masterpieces used as standard texts for the education of generations...

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sara212 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted October 7, 2010 at 3:41 PM via web

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Why were Homer's masterpieces used as standard texts for the education of generations of Greek males?



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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:10 PM (Answer #1)

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Simply put, Homer's texts were seen as tools of education of Greek males because they represented the very best that Greek males were meant to epitomize. The article makes specific mention of Achilles and Odysseus as examples to which all males should aspire.  Achilles is depicted as a god- fearing, honorable warrior who only enters battle when the death of his friend must be avenged. Odysseus is shown to be a "man of many ways," who is honorable enough to choose to return to his wife and child as opposed to accept immortality.  The article depicts both heroes as men who are of the highest order, without blemish on character or in action.  This is a vision that was used to educate Greek males as what it means to be a man and asserts the male authority and dominant structure of Greek society.  Such a vision fails to account for all of the complex nuances of both heroes, and how their flaws are "excused" because they are men, but this, too, might be a reason why Homeric works were seen as standard texts for the education of Greek males.

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