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Iliad Notes. H O M E R.

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h o m e r
H O M E R
  • It is assumed that Homer composed the epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey around 850 B.C. Little is known about Homer. He is credited with beginning the Western Canon. It is rumored that he was blind. It is also supposed that he was born on the island of Chios and was buried in Ios.
the golden apple
THE GOLDEN APPLE
  • When Thetis, the sea goddess, and Peleus were being married all the gods were invited except Eris, the goddess of discord.
the beauty contest
The Beauty Contest
  • Angered at her exclusion, Eris tossed a golden apple bearing the inscription, “To the Fairest,” into the midst of the guests. Hera, Aphrodite and Athena each claimed that they were “the Fairest” and claimed the
  • golden apple as their own.
paris decision
Paris’ Decision
  • Zeus, entrusted the decision concerning the apple’s possession to Paris. Each goddess promised him something in return for choosing them. Hera promised to give him Asia. Athena offered fame in warfare. Aphrodite offered him Helen of Troy.
helen of troy the face that launched a 1 000 ships
Helen of Troy: the face that launched a 1,000 ships
  • Menalos awakes to find that Helen has left (some sources say abducted by Paris, others claim she left willingly, others say Aphrodite put her under a spell to fulfill her promise to Paris). He joins forces with his brother Agamemnon and they set sails to attack Troy.
character list
Character List
  • The Achaeans/ The Greeks
achilles
Achilles

Son of military man Peleus and the sea-nymph Thetis (who dipped him in the River Styx in an attempt to make him invulnerable, but…), the most powerful warrior in the Iliad, commands the Myrmidons. Proud and headstrong, takes offense easily, his wrath toward Agamemnon is one of the main subjects of the epic

agamemnon
Agamemnon
  • King of Mycenae and leader of the Achaean army, arrogant and selfish.
patroclus
Patroclus
  • Achilles’ beloved friend, companion, and advisor, dons Achilles’ armor in an attempt to hold the Trojans back, his death leads to Achilles’ ultimate rage.
odysseus
Odysseus
  • Fine warrior and the cleverest of the Achaean commanders, serves as a mediator between Agamemnon and Achilles (eventually stars in his own little adventure)
great ajax
Great Ajax
  • The second mightiest Achaean warrior, wounds Hector, really big and really strong
little ajax
Little Ajax
  • Fights along side the Great Ajax, his small size and speed compliment G.A’s strength.
nestor
Nestor
  • King of Pylos and the oldest Achaean commander, very wise
menelaus
Menelaus
  • King of Sparta, younger brother of Agamemnon, when his wife Helen is abducted by Paris he sparks the Trojan War.
the myrmidon
The Myrmidon
  • The soldiers under Achilles’ command
hector
Hector
  • Mightiest warrior in the Trojan army, resents the fact that his brother Paris brought the war upon their family
priam
Priam
  • King of Troy, father of fifty Trojan warriors including Hector and Paris
hecuba
Hecuba
  • Queen of Troy
paris
Paris
  • His abduction of Helen sparked the war, self-centered and unmanly, fights effectively with bow and arrow (never with the more manly sword or spear) lacks spirit for battle
helen
Helen
  • The most beautiful woman in the ancient world, leaves her husband for Paris, later loathes herself for the misery that she has caused
aeneas
Aeneas
  • The son of Aphrodite and a poor Trojan shepherd, mighty Trojan warrior. His son Silvius founded the city of Alba Longa. The people of this city would one day build Rome.
andromache
Andromache
  • Hector’s loving wife

Astyanax

Hector’s infant son

polydamas
Polydamas
  • Hector’s foil, cool headed, gives the Trojans sound advice but Hector seldom acts upon it.
briseis
Briseis
  • A war prize of Achilles, when Agamemnon is forced to return Chryseis to her father he appropriates Briseis as compensation which sparks the great rage within Achilles.
slide28
Zeus

Zeus is

Neutral, but

He does tell

Thetis to

Make

Achilles

Return

Hector’s

Body.

gods who side with the greeks hera
Gods who side with the GreeksHera
  • Hera sides with the Greeks, because she is mad at Paris for choosing Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess.
athena
Athena
  • Athena is also mad at Paris, and therefore she hates the Trojans.
poseidon
Poseidon
  • Respects the ocean-fearing Greeks, and dislikes Troy because they never properly thanked him for building the walls of Troy.
gods who support troy apollo
Gods who Support TroyApollo

Apollo resents that Agamemnon

Disrespected one of his priests.

artemis
Artemis
  • She’s Apollo’s sister so she supports him.
slide34
Leto
  • The mother of Apollo and Artemis wants to support her children.
aphrodite
Aphrodite
  • Likes Paris because he picked her as the winner of the beauty contests.
slide36
Ares
  • He’s Aphrodite’s lover, so he agrees to help her.
slide38
In the tenth and final year of the Trojan War, Chryses, a priest of Apollo, attempts to ransom his daughter from Agamemnon, who has taken her captive while on a raid. When Agamemnon treats him roughly and refuses the ransom, Apollo is angered and brings plague on the Achaeans.
slide39
The Achaean prophet Calchas correctly identifies the cause of the problem, and he suggests giving the girl back with gifts to Apollo. Agamemnon demands that he be compensated for the loss of the girl, and Achilles objects. The two men quarrel viciously.
slide40
Agamemnon says he will take back Briseis, a captive woman who was given to Achilles as a prize for valor. Horribly dishonored, Achilles returns to his ships and refuses to fight. Agamemnon has Briseis taken from Achilles, and he returns Chryseis. He then sends an embassy to ask Achilles to return to battle.
slide41
Agamemnon offers rich prizes, but Achilles refuses the offer and remains withdrawn from battle. The Achaean fortifications are breached, and many of the greatest remaining Achaean warriors are wounded.
slide42
Achilles beloved companion Patroclus begs Achilles to do something to help their fellow soldiers. He asks that he be allowed to put on Achilles’ armor, so that the Trojans will think that Achilles has returned.
slide43
Achilles grants the request, but warns Patroclus to return once he has driven the Trojans back from the ships. Patroclus drives the Trojans back all the way to their own city walls, but there Hector kills him with the help of Apollo.
slide44
Hector strips his armor and puts it on himself, the Achaeans barely manage to save Patroclus’ body from desecration. Achilles goes berserk with grief and rage. Thetis warns him that if he kills Hector, he will die soon afterward.
slide45
Achilles accepts his own life as the price for revenge. He reconciles himself to Agamemnon, receives his new armor, via his mother, forged by Hephaestus. He charges into battle, slaughtering Trojans left and right, routing the Trojan army almost single-handedly. He meets Hector, chases him around the city, and eventually kills

him.

slide46
He then drags the body from the back of his chariot, running laps around the city of Troy so that the Trojans can watch as their champion’s body is horribly desecrated.
slide47
Achilles returns to the camp, where he holds magnificent funeral games for Patroclus. He continues to abuse Hector’s corpse. Zeus sends Thetis to tell Achilles that he must accept the ransom that Priam will offer in exchange for Hector’s body. Priam himself comes to see Achilles and Achilles is suddenly reminded of his own father who, as Priam has, will outlive his most beloved son.
slide48
He understands what he has done, and his rage and grief give way to compassion. He returns the body and offers a cease-fire so that the Trojans can bury Hector. With the word of Achilles as their guarantee, the Trojans take 11 days to give Hector a proper mourning and funeral.
slide49
Achilles will not live to see the fall of Troy. He is killed after Paris shoots him in the heel with an arrow. Apollo guides the arrow into Achilles’ only weak point. Though Achilles will not see the end, Troy is still doomed. Odysseus uses the famous Trojan horse trick to deal the final blow.