An overview of the iliad by homer

Chryseis had been captured in a Greek siege and given to Agamemnon as a war prize.

An overview of the iliad by homer

Once set, gods and men abide it, neither truly able nor willing to contest it. How fate is set is unknown, but it is told by the Fates and by Zeus through sending omens to seers such as Calchas.

Men and their gods continually speak of heroic acceptance and cowardly avoidance of one's slated fate. And put away in your heart this other thing that I tell you. You yourself are not one who shall live long, but now already death and powerful destiny are standing beside you, to go down under the hands of Aiakos' great son, Achilleus.

Each accepts the outcome of his life, yet, no-one knows if the gods can alter fate. The first instance of this doubt occurs in Book XVI.

Plot Overview

Seeing Patroclus about to kill Sarpedonhis mortal son, Zeus says: Ah me, that it is destined that the dearest of men, Sarpedon, must go down under the hands of Menoitios' son Patroclus. Majesty, son of Kronos, what sort of thing have you spoken? Do you wish to bring back a man who is mortal, one long since doomed by his destiny, from ill-sounding death and release him?

Do it, then; but not all the rest of us gods shall approve you. This motif recurs when he considers sparing Hector, whom he loves and respects. This time, it is Athene who challenges him: Father of the shining bolt, dark misted, what is this you said? But come, let us ourselves get him away from death, for fear the son of Kronos may be angered if now Achilleus kills this man.

An overview of the iliad by homer

It is destined that he shall be the survivor, that the generation of Dardanos shall not die Whether or not the gods can alter fate, they do abide it, despite its countering their human allegiances; thus, the mysterious origin of fate is a power beyond the gods.

Fate implies the primeval, tripartite division of the world that Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades effected in deposing their father, Cronusfor its dominion.

SparkNotes: The Iliad: Plot Overview

Zeus took the Air and the Sky, Poseidon the Waters, and Hades the Underworldthe land of the dead—yet they share dominion of the Earth.

Despite the earthly powers of the Olympic gods, only the Three Fates set the destiny of Man. Yet, Achilles must choose only one of the two rewards, either nostos or kleos. Either, if I stay here and fight beside the city of the Trojans, my return home is gone, but my glory shall be everlasting; but if I return home to the beloved land of my fathers, the excellence of my glory is gone, but there will be a long life left for me, and my end in death will not come to me quickly.

Agamemnon's sceptre, the wheel of Hebe 's chariot, the house of Poseidon, the throne of Zeus, the house of Hephaestus. Translator Lattimore renders kleos aphthiton as forever immortal and as forever imperishable—connoting Achilles's mortality by underscoring his greater reward in returning to battle Troy.

Kleos is often given visible representation by the prizes won in battle. When Agamemnon takes Briseis from Achilles, he takes away a portion of the kleos he had earned. Achilles' shield, crafted by Hephaestus and given to him by his mother Thetis, bears an image of stars in the centre.The Iliad recounts a brief but crucial period of the Trojan War, a conflict between the city of Troy and its allies against a confederation of Greek cities, collectively known as the Achaeans.

The conflict began when Paris, the son of Troy’s king Priam, seized a willing Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world, from the Achaean king Menelaus. Iliad study guide contains a biography of Homer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

About Iliad Iliad Summary. In the tenth year of the Trojan War, tensions are running high among the Achaians (a super-ancient name for the Ancient Greeks).

First, the priest Chryses comes to ask their leader, King Agamemnon, to release his daughter, whom Agamemnon was holding captive. There are a total of 24 books in the Iliad, totaling roughly hours of reading time. Note: These eNotes are based on the Richmond Lattimore translation of the Iliad.

“The Iliad” (Gr: “Iliás”) is an epic poem by the ancient Greek poet Homer, which recounts some of the significant events of the final weeks of the Trojan War and the Greek siege of the city of Troy (which was also known as Ilion, Ilios or Ilium in ancient times). Plot Overview. Nine years after the start of the Trojan War, the Greek (“Achaean”) army sacks Chryse, a town allied with Troy.

During the battle, the Achaeans capture a pair of beautiful maidens, Chryseis .

The Iliad - Homer - Ancient Greece - Classical Literature