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Iliad: Book 18 Summary

by: Hannah Millirons

Iliad: Book 18 Summary CLCV 207

Hannah Millirons

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About this Document

This is a summary and interpretation of book 18.
Greek Civilization
Jessica Stevens
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Millirons on Wednesday September 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CLCV 207 at College of William and Mary taught by Jessica Stevens in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see Greek Civilization in Classical Studies at College of William and Mary.

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Date Created: 09/14/16
Hannah Millirons Greek Civilization September 14, 2016 Iliad Book 18 The war is still going on when book 18 starts out. Antilochus sees Achiles and fears that  something bad has happened to him. He explains that he didn’t mean for Patroclus to go fight Hector, he just told him to return fire. He tells him that Patroclus has died and they are  fighting over his dead body. Achilles becomes very angry and sad and pours black soot on  his face and starts ripping out his hair. The women they are holding hostage begin “beating  their breasts.” Antilochus grabs Achilles’s hands because he is scared he’ll slit his own  throat. His mother hears him from the water and starts to cry. All of the deep­sea women  gather around her to comfort her. They all “beat their breasts” in sorrow. Thetis starts talking  about her son and how she loved him so much. She says she sent him to Ilion to fight the  Trojans and now she will never see him happy again.  Thetis and all of the sea women leave and go to Troy to be with Achilles. She asks him  what’s wrong and he tells her that even though Zeus has granted him protection, he is still  heartbroken that he lost his very best friend. He says that Hector made armor out of his body. He says she should have stayed with the saltwater women and Peleus should have married a  mortal. Now she has to grieve for her son’s loss because he doesn’t want to live unless he can kill Hector. Thetis starts crying and says that if he keeps thinking this way that when Hector  dies, Achilles will die too. He says just let him die now because he wasn’t able to help  Patroclus when he needed him the most, he is useless now. Achilles wishes that all fighting  would just stop because it makes even the sanest people crazy. He says that even though  Agamemnon made him mad, he is going to let it go because he doesn’t want to fight  anymore. Hector is the only person who has built up enough rage in Achilles, so that is the  only person he wants to fight/kill. Achilles says that when it comes to his own fate, he will  take whatever Zeus dishes out to him. He says that if he has the same fate as Heracles, then  he will just lay down and die. He says that she shouldn’t try to stop him from fighting  because nothing will work since he won’t listen. Thetis says that it isn’t wrong to help his  friends, but he doesn’t have his armor anymore because the Trojans took it. She says that  Hector will soon die and until Achilles sees Thetis again, he shouldn’t go after Hector. Thetis tells her sea friends that they should go down to their father’s house on the bottom of the  ocean and tell him that she is going to visit Hephaestus on Olympus to get him to make  armor for Achilles.  People are still fighting over Patroclus’s corpse. Iris comes down from Olympus and tells  Achilles he needs to rescue Patroclus. He says he doesn’t have any armor yet so he can’t and  he promised Thetis not to fight until she comes back with some for him to wear. She tells  him to just go to the trench and let the Trojans see him because they'll be so scared to see him that they will just run away. He decides to go to the trench, but when he does, Athena puts  Zeus's shield on his shoulder and then gives him a cloud crown that shoots flames. Achilles  and Athena start yelling together and it makes all the Trojans run away in fear. The Greeks  bring Patroclus’s body back and Achilles starts to cry.  That night, Polydamas gets worried about what is going to happen since Achilles is fighting  again. He says they should hide behind the city's walls because of Achilles wants to fight that bad, then he can fight them during the day when he is more vulnerable. Hector says he tired  of being cooped up in the walls and they should just go fight him and the Greeks.  As this is happening, the Greeks are really upset about Patroclus and cry over him. Achilles  is the most upset since he couldn’t protect his best friend and didn’t bring him back to his dad like he said he would. Achilles swears that he isn’t going to bury Patroclus until he kills  Hector. Then the Greeks wash Patroclus and put olive oil and ointment on him. Zeus and  Hera watch the whole time. Also as this is going on, Thetis gets to Hephaestus. He is busy working on a project for  himself: tripods to line the halls of his house. She meets Charis, who is Hephaestus’s wife.  He is glad to see Thetis because she helped him a long time ago when Hera threw him off of  a mountain. He asks what she needs help with and she tells him about the circumstances that  Achilles is in and that he needs armor. She waits while he works on the armor. Hephaestus  makes Achilles’s shield first and decorates it with a picture of the universe with lots of glitter and silver. He includes all of the aspects of human life on it. Then he makes the rest of  Achilles’s armor and gives it to Thetis so she can take it to him. 


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