On one of my favorite blogs texthistory there was a recent post and link to this test:
You can see in 10 shallow questions who you would be if you were a classical character. The fun part is that you can choose male or female. I was annoyed to see myself cast as Odysseus after I so recently railed against his character to my book group upon finishing The Iliad. I found him to be the epitome of machismo and he quite got on my nerves.
It is hard to not know nearly the complete tale of the Ilaid before you actually read it, but I was surprised that I literally knew the whole tale. I don’t know why I thought there would be parts in there that had been left on the cutting room floor (of films and abridged children’s versions), a lá 1001 Arabian Nights but no, I pretty much knew the whole thing.
The fact that the book is not so much a story unfolding, as it is Odysseus (or in my version Ulysses) recounting all of his heroic acts himself: I found that somewhat significant. Isn’t that just ever so suspect? Seemed so to me. How convenient that he lost all his crew several times over, but lived to tell the tale of his amazing prowess in all areas; lust, war, and comradeship. He’s just an amazing fellow if he doesn’t say so himself. What, with the backing of powerful Gods – who isn’t?
I always loved the name Ulysses, in fact, it is my 13 year old’s middle name. He came home from school a few months ago and told me that he had had to write his full name out on a piece of paper in class, the girl sitting next to him, peeking at his paper, asked incredulously, “Your parents named you useless?!”
He shares my self-deprecating sense of humor so we both found this hilarious. We decided that we would sign all really important documents henceforth-
Still, I find it ironic that this is the male classical character I would most likely be. But of course, the going analysis of his character is, admittedly, different from my own, he is brave and clever (not me) but warm and loyal to his family (not for me to say) blah blah blah.
It went the same way for me with the female character. I am Dido. She’s the queen of Carthage that got her heart broken by Aeneas. She killed herself on a pyre. Same personality type and look at the difference it makes being a man. Yep.