General Plot Summary of Homer's Iliad
The Iliad is a lengthy poem of some 15,693 lines, divided into 24 books (cantos) and has as its theme the anger (menis) of the Greek hero Achilles, the greatest of the heroes to sail to Troy. In the tenth year of the war, Achilles quarrels with the leader of the expedition, Agamemnon, over a slight to Achilles' honor. In his anger, Achilles withdraws from the fighting and wins the aid of Zeus, the king of the gods, to see to it that the war turns against the Greeks. Eventually (Book 9) things begin to go so badly that Agamemnon sends a delegation to Achilles to offer him compensation and ask him to rejoin the fighting.
The Iliad opens with "the anger of Peleus' son, Achilleus," (1.1) and closes with the "burial of Hektor, breaker of horses" (24.804).1 The bracketing of the poem with descriptions of these two men suggests both their importance and their connection to one another. They lead parallel lives as the top fighters in their respective armies, and, as the poem progresses, their lives and deaths become more and more closely linked. They each struggle to fulfill the heroic ideal, and they both grapple with temptations that lure them away from heroism. While Hektor embodies the human heroic ideal, Achilleus strives to surpass human heroism to achieve some identification with the divine. These delusions of grandeur diminish Achilleus greatly; despite his efforts he can never be immortal, and a mortal god, besides being an oxymoron, would be decidedly pitiful. Achilleus' heroism, therefore, is incumbent on his acceptance of his humanity. Achilleus entangles Hektor in his struggle to come to terms with his own mortality by recognizing himself in his enemy. Hektor comes to represent the humanity of Achilleus, against which Achilleus rebels and which he tries to destroy in his desire to be immortal. Their fates are therefore linked, and the death of the one necessitates the death of the other. In finally giving over Hektor's body to Priam, Achilleus is at his most heroic; for in this action he accepts his fate, his mortality, and his humanity.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Iliad Theme of Fate and Free Will." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 07 Apr. 2014. .
In the Greek camp at the end of the Iliad, we see Achilleus arrive at the conclusion that is the theme of the entire poem—that to be mortal is to suffer. However, Homer leaves unanswered the logical question regarding this conclusion: If to live is to suffer, then why live at all? This then becomes the central question of the Odyssey, in which we are given an entirely different kind of character who rejects two distinct possibilities—an immortal relationship and a utopian community—for his own “wife and his homecoming” (I, 13). The question we are then compelled to ask is, what could Penelope and his Ithakan household possibly offer that is worth more than utopia and immortality? To illustrate what Odysseus could’ve had, Homer shows us a contrast for each aspect of Odysseus’s longing—a couple and a community. Through these contrasts, we are shown just why these options don’t measure up for Odysseus.
In Homer's epic, The Iliad, Achilles is the central character and greatest warrior in the Trojan War. He is faced with several problems, but the main fight was between him and Agamemnon, the commander of the Achaean army. Greek soldiers fight to win kleos, which is the greek word for glory. When Agamemnon takes Achilles’ kleos, Achilles is forced to question his role in the war. He struggles with the shallow reason that the Achaean army is fighting and eventually goes against the authority he is under in order to fight for his own reasons. Achilles made the only choice possible after being left with a broken heart, cheated and betrayed.
What role did the women play in The Iliad ? Most of the women that are featured in this book are very strong and courageous. Though the spotlight may not always be featured on them, they take up a good portion of the book and somewhat centered around them. Most events that occur are because of them which result in some people dying. Take Helen for example, she is kidnapped, raped by Paris, and put into hardship; after all the whole war is caused by her. Having the reputation of being the most beautiful women in the world and having such a nice husband, Menalaus, how could such a thing happen to her?
The Iliad of Homer
Honor is something men and women have fought for century after century. Even now, thousands of American and British men are fighting in Iraq, near to where the Trojan War was to have taken place. These men fight for the greater good. They fight for those in Iraq who are unable to fight for or otherwise defend themselves. They fight for honor.
Outline &explain the qualities of a “Homeric Hero”. Who best fits the bill? Why?
The Homeric hero strives to be the best among his peers. His goal is to achieve
the greatest glory in order to earn the highest honor from his peers, his commander, and
finally from his warrior society.
The competition for power and ultimate victory is continuous throughout the Iliad. Several characters including gods and men, attempt to assume authority and rule in order to fulfill personal endeavors and obtain self-gratification. However, it is often that by themselves, these strong figures cannot carry out the tasks that they wish to accomplish. Instead, they are quick to manipulate and beg in order to have the job completed by someone else. On both the human and immortal level, individuals constantly need the help of others in their struggle for supremacy.
1. What do the first six lines tell us about Achilles? The first six lines tell us that Achilles might be a military general or some one who can lead Greeks into battle, It states that Achilles is full of rage also that he is murderous, and doomed.