Trojan prince, son of Priam and brother of Hector. He kills many men, but is ultimately slain by Hector.
Through its portayal of the epic subject matter of the Trojan War, the stirring scenes of bloody battle, the wrath of Achilles and the constant interventions of the gods, it explores themes of glory, wrath, homecoming and fate, and has provided subjects and stories for many other later Greek, Roman and Renaissance writings.
The Greeks are quarrelling about whether or not to return Chryseis, a Trojan captive of King Agamemnonto her father, Chryses, a priest of Apollo. When Agamemnon refuses and threatens to ransom the girl to her father, the offended Apollo plagues them with a pestilence.
The Greeks, at the behest of the warrior-hero Achillesforce Agamemnon to return Chryseis in order to appease Apollo and end the pestilence.
Feeling dishonoured, Achilles wrathfully withdraws both himself and his Myrmidon warriors from the Trojan War. Testing the resolve of the Greeks, Agamemnon feigns a homeward order, but Odysseus encourages the Greeks to pursue the fight. The goddess Athena, however, who favours the Greeks, soon provokes a Trojan truce-breaking and battle begins anew.
The Greek hero Diomedes, strengthened by Athena, drives the Trojans before him but, in his arrogance and blood-lust, strikes and injures Aphrodite.
Despite the misgivings of his wife, Andromachethe Trojan hero, Hectorson of King Priamchallenges the Greek warrior-hero Ajax to single combat, and is almost overcome in battle. Diomedes and Odysseus sneak into the Trojan camp and wreak havoc.
But, with Achilles and his warriors out of battle, the tide appears to begin to turn in favour of the Trojans. Agamemnon is wounded in the battle and, despite the heroics of AjaxHector successfully breaches the fortified Greek camp, wounding Odysseus and Diomedes in the process, and threatens to set the Greek ships on fire.
Distraught at the death of his companion, Achilles then reconciles with Agamemnon and rejoins the fray, despite knowing his deadly fate, and drives all the Trojans before him in his fury.
As the ten year war reaches its climax, even the gods join in the battle and the earth shakes with the clamour of the combat. Clad in new armour fashioned specially for him by Hephaestus, Achilles takes revenge for his friend Patroclus by slaying Hector in single combat, but then defiles and desecrates his corpse for several days.
Analysis Back to Top of Page Although attributed to Homer"The Iliad" is clearly dependent on an older oral tradition and may well have been the collective inheritance of many singer-poets over a long period of time the historical Fall of Troy is usually dated to around the start of the 12th Century BCE.
Homer was probably one of the first generation of authors who were also literate, as the Greek alphabet was introduced in the early 8th Century BCE, and the language used in his epic poems is an archaic version of Ionic Greek, with admixtures from certain other dialects such as Aeolic Greek.
However, it is by no means certain that Homer himself if in fact such a man ever really existed actually wrote down the verses. Likewise, the death of Achilles and the eventual fall of Troy are not covered in the poem, and these matters are the subjects of other non-Homeric "Epic Cycle" poems, which survive only in fragments.
The poem consists of twenty-four scrolls, containing 15, lines of dactylic hexameter verse. The entire poem has a formal rhythm that is consistent throughout making it easier to memorize and yet varied slightly from line to line preventing it from being monotonous.
In the same way, many of the descriptive phrases that are linked with a certain character such as "swift-footed Achilles ", "Diomedes of the great war cry", " Hector of the shining helm", and " Agamemnon the lord of men" match the number of syllables in a hero's name, and are repeated regularly to the extent that they almost seem to become part of the characters' names themselves.
They are often used as a way of explaining how or why an event took place, but they are also sometimes used as comic relief from the war, mimicking, parodying and mocking mortals. Indeed, it is often the gods, not the mortals, who seem casual, petty and small-minded.
The main theme of the poem is that of war and peace, and the whole poem is essentially a description of war and fighting. There is a sense of horror and futility built into Homer 's chronicle, and yet, posed against the viciousness, there is a sense of heroism and glory that adds a glamour to the fighting: Homer appears both to abhor war and to glorify it.
Frequent similes tell of the peacetime efforts back home in Greece, and serve as contrasts to the war, reminding us of the human values that are destroyed by fighting, as well as what is worth fighting for.
The concept of heroism, and the honour that results from it, is also one of the major currents running through the poem. Achilles in particular represents the heroic code and his struggle revolves around his belief in an honour system, as opposed to Agamemnon 's reliance on royal privilege.
But, as fighter after heroic fighter enters the fray in search of honour and is slain before our eyes, the question always remains as to whether their struggle, heroic or not, is really worth the sacrifice.
Resources English translation by Samuel Butler with popup notes and commentary eNotes:Way back in the Bronze Age, when the Iliad takes place, people went by the names of dominant tribes or regions. The most general of these names are Achaians, Danaans, and Argives.
The most general of these names are Achaians, Danaans, and Argives. In the tenth year of the Trojan War, tensions are running high among the Achaians (a super-ancient name for the Ancient Greeks). First, the priest Chryses comes to ask their leader, King Agamemnon, to release his daughter, whom Agamemnon was holding captive.
Three important characters in Homer's Iliad are: Odysseus: He is a human hero, who is the King of Ithaca. He fights on the Greek side in the Trojan war and is known for his cleverness, and devising.
In the Iliad certain heroic characters play major roles in the battles even though the reader knows that many more common soldiers must be involved. The heroes, however, are presented literally as greater human beings than the ordinary warriors.
Some may have a divine or semi-divine parent, though. The central setting for Homer's The Iliad is the Trojan War, the ten-year siege on the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, and the main story follows the final weeks of the war and the.
The central setting for Homer's The Iliad is the Trojan War, the ten-year siege on the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, and the main story follows the final weeks of the war and the.