The Iliad Questions and Answers
by Simone Weil

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Discuss how the Greeks and Trojans are portrayed in The Iliad vs. Inferno. Note that Dante and Virgil are sympathetic to the Trojans, whereas Homer championed Achilles, Ulysses (Odysseus), and the Greeks. What impact, if any, has Inferno had on how the Western world views or portrays characters like Ulysses or Virgil? The paper should have a clear topic (the terms) supported by the literature (provide ample citations from the literature). The paper should be 2.5 to 3 pages in length, with an introduction, three body paragraphs (a paragraph being roughly 13 to 18 sentences), and a conclusion.

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Other pages, linked below, offer specific details on Greeks and Trojans in Dante's work. If we want to think more broadly, we can note that both Virgil and Homer end in the same place: Limbo. Virgil is a damned soul, however mild his punishment may be. In many cases, he is faulty in his knowledge, and Dante needs to grow beyond his master in order to enter Paradise.

One way he can grow is by abandoning his own partisanship (Guelph vs Ghibelline) and to reject simple partisanship from the Iliad. We can see Virgil being celebrated not so much for the Aeneid but for creating the poem of the Roman Empire, a form of government Dante admired. Dante, in turn, becomes a poet of the Christian Empire, while Homer is a poet of individual heroes. The Greeks who are most scorned in Dante's poem are those who sought fame or glory for themselves, or who—like Odysseus—used his intellectual talents to deceive others through false rhetoric.

As a poet, Virgil was long celebrated as a writer of eloquent...

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