The Iliad By Homer, Homer

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In book one the Iliad begins with the poet, Homer, asking the muse to tell of the rage of Achilles. It begins with Apollo’s priest Chryses going to the Achaean camp to ask if he can pay ransom for his daughter Chryseis who was captured. Agamemnon sends him off rudely and Chryses prays to Apollo asking him to punish the Greeks. Apollo answers this request by bringing a plague upon them. Achilles calls an assembly with a seer and promises the seer immunity so that he can find out why Apollo is angry. Agamemnon agrees to give back Chryseis if he can take Briseis from Achilles. It is this chain of events that ultimately leads to the fued between the two men. Achilles decides to stop fighting in the war to show the Greeks just how valuable he is and he persuades his mother, Thetis to convince Zeus to allow the Trojans to win the war until the Greeks realize how important Achilles is for their success. Homer’s addressing to the Muse in the beginning solidifies the fact that the Iliad is a poem inspired by the gods and when Agamemnon refuses to give up Chryses’ daughter, Apollo’s intervention is the first example of how the gods can quickly change the fortunes of men. The dispute between Agamemnon and Achilles is primarily a question of honor. Agamemnon believes that Achilles challenged his leadership by calling the assembly and Achilles feels that Agamemnon 's decision to take Briseis as a replacement for Chryseis was a public show of disrespect. In book two Zeus gives Agamemnon a false dream that tells him it is a good time to attack Troy. In the morning Agamemnon tells the captains about his vision but he tells the rest of the soldiers that they can go home to test their courage and to his surprise they all run for the ships. At this... ... middle of paper ... ...unger for battle. When Homer describes this scene he compares their fires to shining stars in the night sky. It is a scene of peace and serenity. For a second we are able to forget about the constant battles and blood shed we’ve read about for eight books and live in this perfect moment. This book also sets up the return of Achilles. It has been very easy to forget that this is actually the story of Achilles’ rage. In the beginning of the story he said that he would sit out of the war until his fellow warriors realized how important he is. At this point in the story it seems as if his army has no chance of winning the war. They are cowering in their ships while the Trojans sleep just outside having a night of feasting and celebrating what seems like victory. I am almost certain that we will see the return of Achilles in book nine and another major shift in the story.

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