Epic Similes in The Iliad


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An epic simile is _____.

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In this simile from Book 17 of the The Iliad, the fight over Patroclus's fallen body is being compared to what?

'It was as when a man gives a great ox-hide all drenched in fat to his men, and bids them stretch it; whereon they stand round it in a ring and tug till the moisture leaves it, and the fat soaks in for the many that pull at it, and it is well stretched - even so did the two sides tug the dead body hither and thither within the compass of but a little space-'


What is the author's most likely purpose for including the following epic simile in The Iliad?

'And among them went King Agamemnon, with a head and face like Jove the lord of thunder, a waist like Mars, and a chest like that of Neptune. As some great bull that lords it over the herds upon the plain, even so did Jove make the son of Atreus stand peerless among the multitude of hero.'

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

The use of epic similes in The Iliad help lend it grandeur and provide imagery. You can use this assessment to judge your understanding of epic similes with questions about its definition, related examples, and its use in The Iliad.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

This quiz will help you determine your understanding of epic similes in The Iliad with questions regarding:

  • Quotes from the text
  • Author's reason for using epic similes
  • Use of imagery and detail

Skills Practiced

  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the related lesson on The Iliad
  • Making connections - use understanding of the concept of an epic simile
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about epic similes from the text and their purpose

Additional Learning

More about epic similes can be reviewed in the lesson titled, Epic Similes in The Iliad. This includes more information, such as:

  • Figurative language
  • Other functions of similes
  • Visual aids