"The Illiad" Brief Summary

Essay by car1a26High School, 11th grade May 2006

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Homer's timeless classic comes alive in a tale of passion, anger, and pride. It begins nine years into the Trojan war when the Achaeans sack a town near Troy. They capture two women, Chryseis and Briseis, as prizes for Agamemnon, the Achaean leader, and Achilles, the greatest greek warrior. When Chryseis' father demands her back in return for a generous ransom, Agamemnon gives up his prize reluctantly, and then takes Briseis from Achilles. This conflict forms the base of the Iliad.

Achilles becomes upset and refuses to fight in the war for the Achaeans, a devastating move on the Achaeans part, and Zeus takes sides with the Trojans. The obvious advantage of the Trojans leads to their power over the Achaeans in battle and they set fire to one of the ships. Without its ships, the army would surely fall, stranded in Troy.

Nestor then develops a plan to allow Achilles' good friend Patroclus to fight in the war in place of Achilles, and bearing his armor.

Patroclus manages to hold back the Trojan army for a while, but then Apollo weakens him and strips him of his armor, and Hector murders him. The Achaeans are able to part with the body, but Hector leaves with the pride and the armor.

When Achilles finds out that his dear friend is diseased, immense anger and sadness overcomes him. When Achilles' mother notices his loud cries, she learns that he is planning on returning to battle. Thetis visits Hephaestus and begs him to forge armor for Achilles' return to battle. Achilles' returns to battle the next day with glorious armor leading the Achaean army.

Hector, not expecting Achilles' return to battle orders his men to camp outside the Achaean walls, but are soon fleeing from the site. Achilles' destroys every man...