Analysis Of ' The Song Of Achilles '

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Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles re-tells the classic tale of The Iliad through the romantic relationship highly speculated between Achilles and Patroclus. In a diachronic approach to historical queer narratives, I will analyze queer identities and representation within literature with an emphasis on contemporary queer narratives. Queer narratives are especially important stories to perpetuate and recognize both historically and contemporarily, as they impose, perpetuate, or upset notions of normalcy. The Song of Achilles solidifies historical queer identities and experiences that have otherwise been absent, overlooked, or erased in the Iliad (and other historical texts). Accurate queer representation is important for understanding the historical past, giving voice, visibility, and validation to queer identities, and recreating identity in the present. Because language is relative/arbitrary, queer has various meanings, depending on evolution and history and also personal attributions. Queer has been used as an adjective to mean strange, questionable, or to not feel right, a pejorative against queer individuals, an identity relating to a person who does not conform to a normative sexual orientation or gender identity, a sexual orientation, and as a gender identity (such as genderqueer). However, there is an overlooked use of the word: queer is also a verb. What does it mean to queer something? There was a time when that phrase meant “to mess it up,” as in queering a
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