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    #1

    Two Sentences From Homer's Iliad

    Hello everyone,

    I have two sentences that come from Richmond Lattimore's version of Homer's Iliad. The first sentence that I am currently dealing with comes the 9th book, and is around the 17th line. Here it is:

    "Friends, who are leaders of the Argives and keep their counsel: Zeus son of Kronos has caught me badly in bitter futility."

    What exactly does it mean to be caught in bitter futility? Does it mean something similar to being caught IN a net? If this is correct, then Zeus has used bitter futility to catch Agamemnon? Why would Zeus use bitter futility to catch Agamemnon?

    By being caught in bitter futility, does he inherit this futility? This would make sense as his attempts to fight the Trojans are proving futile.

    The second sentence that is becoming problematic is

    "So he spoke, and all of them stayed stricken to silence."

    This sentence comes from the same book, but is the 29th line. I am trying to understand why it the word "to" is in the sentence, rather than the word "with."

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Two Sentences From Homer's Iliad

    If the speaker in 1. is Agamemnon, it is he (Agamemnon) who was caught in bitter futility by Zeus. The bitter futility belongs to Agamemnon.
    If Zeus has caught Agamemnon badly prepared and drunk, it is Agamemnon who is badly prepared and drunk. (By default, unless the context suggests otherwise).

    Your second question is easier. 'to' is appropriate here. Analogies: "They remained confined to a siege/beaten to uselessness."
    It could have said that they were stricken with silence; but they were stricken to a state of silence.

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