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Phoenix’s Speech in Book 9th of the Iliad

Homer is regarded in the Roman and Greek world as the father of rhetoric. This reputation of Homer is clearly evident from the 9th book of the Iliad, an embassy right from the leaders of the Greek towards Achilles, who is both sour and furious. The speeches framed by Homer in the 9th book were not shaped from any clear-cut rhetoric pattern. However, there seem to be traces of rhetoric habits in Homer, which is reflected in his speech writings. His rhetoric style is pretty old-fashioned. An analysis of the speech made by Achilles reflects that the rhetoric style adopted by him is deliberate. It also clearly shows that there is continuity in Homer’s rhetorical practice. Moreover, a close analysis of the 9th book reveals that there is a paradeigma in all speeches framed by Homer. This is a vital element in Homer’s speeches.

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These speeches are argumentative as well as they externalize harmful emotions. The speeches contained in the 9th book do not represent any harmful emotions, but they are paraenetic as well as expresses anger. These speeches are positive, externally directed, and hopefully ameliorative.

It is very clear from the speeches from the 9th book that there is the application of paradeigma. Moreover, there are also repetitions of sounds and words. In addition, there is metonymy, antithesis as well as litotes. There is also the aspect of personification. The passage of speeches uses the technique of apostrophe. There are similarities between the speeches. Most of the time, the logic of the speaker is subjective and is intentionally linked or tied to the character. The speeches are patterned or arranged in a ring form which is something less immediately obvious in later rhetoric. Speech made in Achilles is evident and is plainly and accurately expressed. The style of the speech is based on logic based on standard rather than on authentic proof basis.

The rhetoric classifications of the speech of Achilles in the 9th book clearly emphasize the true deliberation of its structure. It also exhibits traits shown by the later oratory. The speeches extensively use paradigms and postpone large portions of advice into the epilogue. The speeches of the 9th book are recurring and stylized. This is because of the result of constraints of the oral conditions of its composition. This is clear not only in the narrative portion but also within the use of themes and thoughts as well as in characterizations.

. The long speech of the phoenix in the ninth book of the Iliad is an important section in the vital subject of the poem. It is an ethical statement, and a minimum share of critical scrutiny is given in its opening part, where phoenix explains the quasi fatherly connection with Achilles. Sufficient interest is generated while reading the allegory of the Litai, which is after the autobiography as well as the ending exemplum of Meleager. The ninth book is based on the same motifs as the main plot of the poem.

Examination of the speech in the ninth book also reveals another important feature. That is, the speeches that are simple and objective are later transformed into narrative allusive and paradigmatic style. The speeches also generate some central questions that are related to the main theme of the Iliad are what the proper course of heroic life is and what are its proper rewards? The speeches made by Achilles also signal the development of a spiritual aspect in character. Some speeches are simply declarative, but some are just justice calls and closely relate judicial events. The ninth book, without any doubt, contains the finest set of speech patterns in the entire poem. One technique used here is rhetoric.

In the ninth book, Agamemnon calls another meeting of the Achaeans for proposing a return of their homeland. During the meeting, Diomedes opposes the proposal, thus transferring the battle language. Diomedes uses insulting language. At last, it is Nestor, through his persuasive and mature speech makes Agamemnon send his embassy to Achilles. The art of persuasion is used by Homer in the ninth book very effectively. This can be seen clearly from the speeches of Achilles and by Nestor. Major events in the book are framed or made to happen due to the power of persuasive speeches by important characters. For Homer, who is a Greek, extended spoken discourses were used as a means of persuasion in his book. The basic structures of the speeches in the ninth book are charted out, and the lines of argumentation are developed based on this. Moreover, the argument was used as a tack tool for the process of persuasion. Arguments can give the speaker the very means to capitalize on facts related to his case as well as undermining or weakening the opponent’s case. This feature can be extensively seen in the ninth book’s speeches.

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The paradigm in the ninth book is simply more than a means of persuading others by certain characters. This can be described as an informal method that is used for comparison from one’s own experiences. This can be mythical or real, as well as predictable or unpredictable. Through persuasive speeches, the heroic characteristics of the characters are highlighted to a greater extent. Persuasive speeches are made by important characters in the poem. Which could be a poetic elaboration of the concept of confusions? (Lattimore).

Works cited:

The Iliad of Homer. Tanslation by Lattimore.R.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 7). Phoenix’s Speech in Book 9th of the Iliad.

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"Phoenix’s Speech in Book 9th of the Iliad." StudyCorgi, 7 Nov. 2021,

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StudyCorgi. "Phoenix’s Speech in Book 9th of the Iliad." November 7, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Phoenix’s Speech in Book 9th of the Iliad." November 7, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Phoenix’s Speech in Book 9th of the Iliad'. 7 November.

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