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Home > Free Essays & Book Reports > Mythology > The Illiad

The Illiad

The Illiad is a story that deals with a small part of the Trojan War. The cause of this war is when Paris, the prince of Troy, sailed to Sparta, seduced and abducted Helen and returned to Troy. When Menelaos discovered that his wife was gone, he gathered a number of Greek generals together to go with him, conquer Troy, and retrieve his wife. However, the Illiad only covers a few months during the tenth year of the war. In this time, many important events took place that could have possibly altered the outcome of this historic eventÖ Two beautiful women whom were enemies of the Achaians are captured during one of the many raids the army had on Troy. One of the women, named Chryseis is the prize for Ahomemnon (the king and commander-in Ėchief of the Achaians). But Chryseisí father, Chryses wants his daughter back. Chryses whom was the priest God of Apollo, is hoping to go to the Achaian camp and claim his daughter. Unfortunately, this plan did not work out. And because of this, Chryses prays to Apollo for help. Apollo did in fact help the old man by spreading a deadly plague through the Achaian army, killing hundreds of them. After days of this, the Achaianís most honored soldier, Achilles calls a meeting to determine the cause of the plague. A soothsayer of the Achaians determines that King Agamemnonís arrogance caused the plague by not returning the woman whom was captured to be his war prize. After finding this out, the woman is returned but Agamemnon takes Briseis whom was the prize captured for Achilles. Achilles is angry and publicly insulted so therefore he refuses to fight for the Achaians and withdrawals his troops. He then requests to his mother Thetis (a sea nymph) to influence Zeus to help the Trojans defeat the Achaians. The leader of the Gods promises Thetis that he will help. Zeus sends a dream to Agomemnon that has him convinced he will defeat the Trojans in battle the next day. With the order from Agomemnon, the army prepares itself for attack. The Trojans and Achaians draw towards each other and Paris challenges one of the Achaians to a one on one fight. The challenger of this is Menelaos. The winner will win Helen and both sides will agree on a treaty of peace. During the duel, Menelaos wounds Paris and begins dragging him to the Achaianís territory when suddenly, Aphrodite appears and rescues him. Agamemnon announces to his army that they have won and demands that Helen is given back to them. Goddesses Hera and Athena want a complete destruction of Troy and they ask Zeus if no truce were made. Zeus, in turn gives in and grants them their wish. As a result, the fighting soon resumes. As a way to start the war anew, Athena searches for Pandaros, a Trojan leader and tells him to kill Menelaos. Being the type of person Pandaros is, he follows through with her advice. But instead of killing Menelaos, he only wounds him. The Achaians are shocked that the Trojans would do this being that the truce is still in order. While Menelaos is being treated, other Trojan warriorsí get into battle order. Nevertheless, Agamemnon orders his Achaian troops to prepare to fight and this begins the war (again). The battle continues with much violence and many men are killed. When Diomedes is wounded by Pandoros, he turns to Athena for help. Athena gives the Achaian soldier courage, which helps him to drive the Trojans back and kill Pondoros. Diomedes wounds Aeneas but doesnít kill the Trojan nobleman because his mother Aphrodite rescues him. Ares, the god of war gets involved on the Trojanís side by helping Heckor (prince of the Trojans) command his forces. At first this plan works but then the Achaians receive strength from Hera and Athena. The Achaians are becoming stronger by driving the Trojans back. But, the Trojans are weakening thus causing Hektor to return to Troy. He tells the queen and the other royal women to make an offering of Athena in the temple in hopes to get her to ease her fury off of the Trojans. Hektor then goes to find Paris and discovers him at home with Helen. He yells at him for being absent on the battlefield. Paris then prepares himself to fight again. Before Hektor returns to fight, he visits with his wife Andromache and baby son Astyanax. Hector and Paris rejoin the Trojans and the fighting resumes. But due to seeing so many warriors being killed, Athena and Apollo agree on calling an end to the day. But in order for this to happen, they arrange a duel to take place between Hektor and the chosen Achaian warrior Telamonian Aias. The duel takes place but neither side is able to come out the winner so they call it quits for the night. Both sides decide that a short truce is needed so that the dead can be buried. In this time of the truce, Nestor, one of the wise Achaian leaders decides that this would be a good time to build a wall and a moat- like ditch to defend their ships. Two days later, the armies clash. Zeus names the Trojans the winners of the day. The Achaians are growing weak and are driven back behind their strong wall. That night, Hektor orders the Trojans to Set up camp on the plain and to have the fires burn in front of the Achaianís wall. The Achaian army is falling apart. King Agamemnon suggests sailing home. But Diomedes convices the king and the army to stay and fight. At a counsel meeting, Nester reminds Ahamemnon that Achillesí absence is responsible for the armyís suffering. As a result, the king sends Odysseus and Telomonian Aias with the message that he will offer many valuable gifts as well as the return of Briseis if Achilles will rejoin the army. When the two emissaries reach the great warriorís tent and deliver the message, Achilles refuses and states that he and his men will sail for home in the morning. That night, King Agamemnon is having trouble sleeping because he is worrying about the outcome of the Achaian army. After much tossing and turning, he decides to hold a meeting for his senior commanders. Old Nestor advises that a scout should be sent to the Trojan camp. Diomedes volunteers and selects Odysseus to join him. During their mission, the two men capture Dolon, a Trojan and learn valuable information about the opposing army. During the next battle, Agememnon and the Achaians are taking over by driving the Trojans back as far as the city gates. But the Agamemnon and other Achaian warriors get injured leaving the Trojans to take over the battle. Meanwhile, Achilles has continued to watch over the battle and is worried about the Achaians. Since he is not willing to help them yet, Achilles sends his close friend, Patroklos to get information from Nestor. The wise old man tells Patroklos to try to persuade Achilles to join the battle. If he cannot succeed in doing this then Patroklos himself should put on Achillesí armor and join in the battle. The Achaians are once again losing to the Trojans. The Achaians are forced to hide behind their wall, although that didnít stop the Trojans from attacking them. While the battle continues, Nestor finds Agamemnon, Diomedes, and Odysseus and attempts to put together a plan. They decide that the best thing to do is to continue to fight. Patroklos finally convinces Achilles to let him wear his armor. But Achilles tells Patroklos to only rescue the Achaian ships. When Patroklos shows up disguised as Achilles, the Trojans are intimidated of the great warrior. As a result, Hektor and his army flee back to Troy. Patroklos follows the Trojans all the way back to the walls of Troy and with Apolloís help, Hektor kills Petroklos. Achillesí beautiful armor is taken off of Patroklosí corpse and placed of Menelaos. Suddenly, a battle begins over Petroklosí body pertaining to what side should keep it. But eventually, the body is rescued by the Achaians and taken to their camp. When Achilles learns of Patroklos death, he is devastated. He wants to fight the Trojans in particutar, Hektor. When the Trojans hear of Achilles return, they are panic stricken. But Hektor decides that the Trojans will stay in the field and fight. Achillesí plan is to take twelve captives and kill Hektor. After receiving his armor, (with the help of god, Hephaistos) Achilles is ready to go. Achilles calls the Achaians to an assembly and announces his return to the war. King Agomemnon again offers Achilles many presents but his attention is turned to fighting the Trojans. Once ready, the Achaians, led by Achilles head toward the Trojans. The battle begins with much fury. Achilles continues fighting and killing many of the opposition but as he about to kill Aeneas, Poseidon rescues him The Trojans are terrified of Achilles and two groups flea in different directions. The one group seeking safety near River Xanthos is found by Achilles. He then slaughters many of them and kept his word by taking twelve captives. Hektor decides that he is going to engage in a single combat with Achilles. Once Achilles arrives and the duel begins, Hektor begs Achilles to treat his body with respect if he is killed but Achilles is so enraged he refuses. The battle abruptly ends when Achilles stabs Hektor in the throat with his spear. Achilles then strips Hektor of his armor and connects the corpse onto his chariot. The result of this is the body being dragged along the ground. Hektorís parents and wife are devastated from his death and treatment of his corpse. Shortly after the death of Hektor, the Achaians return to camp and have a large funeral for Patroklos. Following the funeral, Achilles announces that funeral games will be held in honor of Patroklos. During this time, Hektorís body still remains untended among the Achaians. Nine days have passed and Hektorís body is still being mistreated. One night, Hektorís father, Priam and an old servant enter the Achaian camp. Priam begs for his sonís body and reminds Achilles of his own dead father. Achilles is so touched by thes memories that he gives Hektorís body back to Priam. Achilles even issues a twelve-day truce in which the Trojans can have a proper funeral service. Hektorís body is burned on a large funeral pyre and then his bones are place in a golden chest and buried in a shallow grave. Following this, a great funeral banquet takes place in Priamís palace.

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