Assignment for Tuesday, 11.10.20

Dear Cinemythologists,

On Tuesday, November 10, we continue our unit on the Trojan War, and with an emphasis on the so-called small screen. Please do the following.


  • Troy: Fall of a City (BBC-Netflix, 2018): Episode 1, “Black Blood” & Episode 4, “Spoils of War.”

Streaming on Netflix. Take notes as you see fit, perhaps on what becomes possible when the Trojan Saga is turned into serial television, versus a movie. We can’t watch it all, so here we’ll focus on events precipitating the Trojan War and on events on the periphery of the Iliad.

!!CONTENT ADVISORY!! Depictions of sexuality (throughout) and rape (in Ep. 4).


We’ve alluded to the Epic Cycle, a massive collocation of epic hexameter poetry. whose origins lie in the Bronze Age, and which were given textual shape in the 8th century and onwards. Here’s an article (via Oxford Reference) that describes all of the poems in the Cycle. Of these, the Cypria has the most bearing on Episode 1 of TFOAC.

TFOAC‘s casting of Black actors to play Zeus and Achilles (Hakeem Kae-Kazim and David Gyasi, respectively) raised some hackles. This piece describes the controversy and offers commentary by prominent classicists, who break down the historical whitewashing of the Classics.


  • Jefferson, Knepper.

Use the comments feature on this post to recommend a sequence to be reviewed and discussed in class.

Recommendations should contain the following:

  • A brief description of the sequence.
  • Precise starting and ending times (hh:mm:ss — hh:mm:ss).
  • A rationale as to why this sequence is worth our time.


2 Replies to “Assignment for Tuesday, 11.10.20”

  1. I would choose the scene where Paris has dinner with his new family and receives his assignment to go to Sparta in Episode 1 that starts at 00:26:10 and ends at 00:28:08. This scene brings the Trojan royal family together; the viewer knows as little about them as Paris. There’s a great deal of conflict that Paris feels about his situation. As a shepherd he was ready to get up and leave in search of something better, and he has enjoyed partying, and yet he is not comfortable with the work given to him, and suggests he could simply go back to his simple life. The scene lays the groundwork for Paris’ motivations in his conversations with Helen in Sparta. The set design, and particularly the lighting, also deserve note in this segment.

  2. I have selected 00:03:15-00:05:10 from episode 4 of Troy: Fall of a City.
    This is our first introduction to Achilles, at least in the sections we watched as a class, and it pretty much directly sets up much of the thrust of his character, especially as seen by the Greeks. He has led his Myrimidons in a stealth ambush on Troy’s ally, and we see him easy shoot down and cut through the civilians like butter. Then he goes for a scorched-earth strategy to deprive both Troy and their allies of supplies, and even cuts down a man I believe is the town headman after he approaches, seemingly for a peaceful diplomatic-style discussion. Finally, he goes for the main store of supplies via his regiment, and when Briseis tries to escape, he intercepts her, despite her position as an unarmed woman.
    To many of the Greeks, Achilles is their secret weapon in the war, known for his skill and ruthlessness in battle. In this scene, he absolutely embodies that expectation of him, acting with cruelty and efficiency. He completes the task of taking out Troy’s allies without batting an eye, seemingly treating it like any other task he could have been asked to do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *