World Literature Analysis Essay- the Iliad

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World Literature

Analysis Essay- The Iliad

The purpose of a literary analysis essay is to carefully examine and sometimes evaluate a work of literature or an aspect of a work of literature. This requires you to break the subject down into its component parts. Your objective in writing a literary analysis essay is to convince the person reading your essay that you have supported the idea you are developing.

  • TOPIC: In the epic poem Iliad, evaluate Achilles’ role as an epic hero. How do you know (looking at textual evidence)?

  • PROMPT: How does Achilles reflect the characteristics of an epic hero as established in the Iliad?

  • Answer this question which becomes your claim statement: _____________________________________________________________________________

Consider the following questions to guide your writing:

  • What actions does Achilles take?

  • What do others say he does?

  • What does he say or do that makes him an epic hero?

  • What do others say about him to help establish him as a typical epic hero?

  • What do his relationships with others say about him?


  • Introduction, claim statement, body paragraphs with topic sentences, conclusion, and Works Cited page (as a separate page)

  • Length: 1 ½- 3 pages, typed, double-spaced

  • Primary source quotations (three from the Iliad in textbooks)

  • Secondary source quotations (at least three from an informational text of your choice- from the selections pulled in class).

  • Follow all MLA style guidelines and formal essay rules. (Be sure that your title is creative and NOT “The Iliad”)

Use the format below (also see attached outline):

  1. Introduction: Your introduction is an important road map for the rest of your essay and conveys a lot of information to your reader.

  • Hook: Begin your introduction by hooking the readers’ interest with a compelling story, an anecdote, or a stirring example.

  • Set the context: Provide general information about epic heroes, include the title of the epic poem (Iliad) and the author (Homer). You also want to include background information relevant to your claim statement and necessary for the reader to understand the position you are taking.

  • State why the main idea (defending Achilles as an epic hero) is important. Your goal is to create a compelling, clear, and convincing essay supporting and defending your ideas.

  • State your claim statement at the end of the introduction paragraph.

  • Example: Achilles’ epitomizes an epic hero because….

  1. Body Paragraphs: The body of your essay should focus on the importance and support of your claim statement. Be sure to use topic sentences, following the claim-evidence-interpretation format (with textual evidence).

  • Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence- an example of an epic hero trait that the hero possesses.

  • Include specific examples (quotes) from the Iliad and your supporting secondary sources.

  • Include your analysis of each quote; interpretation.

  • End each paragraph with a clincher/transition sentence that wraps up this idea and moves us the next idea.

  1. Conclusion: Your literary analysis essay should have a concluding paragraph that gives your essay a sense of completeness and brings your readers to them.

  • Begin the conclusion paragraph by introducing a new but related idea.

  • Make a general statement about Achilles’ as an epic hero, why he is considered the epic hero of the Iliad.

  • Make a general statement of counterpoint.

  • End the paragraph with a sentence that makes the audience really want to believe and trust in your ideas; open it up to society in a way.

Works Cited

Homer. Iliad. Prentice Hall Literature: World Masterpieces. 335-388. Upper Sadlier River:

Pearson Prentice Hall, 2003.

Example from a book:

Author(s). Book Title. Where it was Published: Publishing Company, Year published.

Example from a website:

Author(s): “Title of Article on Website.” Name of the Website. Hosting Organization for Site.

Date of publication (Day-Month-Year)

Example from a magazine or newspaper:

Author(s). “Title of article.” Newspaper/Magazine Name. Date of Publication (day-month-year):

Newspaper Section/page #.

Please remember:

  • Title is centered (NOT bolded or underlined)

  • Whole page is double-spaced

  • Each entry starts on a new line

  • Entries are NOT numbered

  • Entries are alphabetized by author’s last name

  • All second lines and subsequent lines are indented

**You should type ONLY the sources that you used in your essay**

ELACC9-10W1: Write an argument to support claims. ELACC9-10W4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. ELACC9-10W5: Develop and strengthen writing by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying new approaches. ELACC9-10W9: Draw evidence from literary and informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. ELACC9-10L1: Demonstrate command the. ELACC9-10L2: Demonstrate command of the conventions. ELACC9-10L3a. Write and edit so that it conforms to the guidelines of MLA

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