The Iliad Notes, Books 1-4 (Classics 320)
The Iliad Notes, Books 1-4 (Classics 320) Classics 320
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah James on Sunday September 13, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Classics 320 at University of Wisconsin - Madison taught by Laura McClure in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 66 views. For similar materials see The Greeks in Classical Studies at University of Wisconsin - Madison.
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Date Created: 09/13/15
The Illiaimooks 14 13le 0 The poet first asks the muses to aid him in telling the story about the rage of Achilles this is the main focus of The Illiad 0 9 years after the start of the war the Achaeans sack a Troj anallied town and take two beautiful maidens Chryseis and Briseis O Agamemnon commander of the Achaean army takes Chryseis as his prize 0 Achilles greatest Greek hero that fought in the Trojan War claims Briseis 0 Chryses Chryseis father who serves as a priest of the god Apollo offers to pay Agamemnon in return for his daughter back 0 Agamemnon refuses and Chryses prays to Apollo for help 0 Apollo sends a plague upon the Greek camp causing the death of many soldiers 0 After ten days of suffering Achilles calls an assembly of the Achaean army and asks for a soothsayer to reveal the cause of the plague Calchas is the seer who answers the call I Calchas reveals the plague as a vengeful and strategic move by Chryses with the help of Apollo 0 Agamemnon becomes enraged and says that he will return Chryseis only if Achilles gives him Briseis as compensation a demand which humiliates and infuriates Achilles 0 They argue and Achilles threatens to withdraw from battle and take his people the Myrmidons back home to Phthia gt it is important to note that both Agamemnon and Achilles are kings and that this war is being fought by Greek Clans not a kingdom As a result this is a power struggle between equals lt 0 Agamemnon threatens to go to Achilles tent in the army s camp and take Briseis himself 0 Achilles stands ready to kill Agamemnon when Athena sent by Hera appears to him and checks his anger I Athena s guidance along with a speech by the wise advisor Nestor succeeds in preventing a duel 0 That night Agamemnon puts Chryseis on a ship back to her father and sends for Briseis O Achilles prays to his mother the sea nymph Thetis to ask Zeus to punish the Achaeans 0 He tells her of his fight with Agamemnon and she promises to take the matter up with Zeus who owes her a favor as soon as he returns from a thirteen day period of feasting with the Aethiopians 0 Meanwhile the Achaean commander Odysseus is navigating Chryseis ship 0 When he lands he returns her and makes sacrifices to Apollo 0 Chryses glad to see his daughter prays to Apollo to lift the plague from the Achaeans 0 Apollo acknowledges his prayer and Odysseus returns to his comrades The end of the plague on the Achaeans only marks the beginning of worse suffering 0 Ever since the quarrel Achilles has not participated in battle and after twelve days Thetis makes her appeal to Zeus as promised Zeus is reluctant to help the Trojans for his wife Hera favors the Greeks but he agrees O Hera becomes livid when she discovers that Zeus is helping the Trojans 0 Her son Hephaestus tells her not to plunge the gods into con ict over the mortals Book Two To help the Trojans Zeus sends a false dream to Agamemnon in which a figure of Nestor persuades Agamemnon that he can take Troy if he launches an assault on the city s walls 0 The next day Agamemnon gathers his troops for attack 0 To test their courage he lies and tells them that he has decided to give up and return home I To his dismay they eagerly run to their ships When Hera sees the Achaeans eeing she alerts Athena 0 She inspires Odysseus who is the most eloquent to call the men back Odysseus reminds them of the prophecy that Calchas gave when the Achaeans were leaving Greece 0 A water snake had slithered to shore and devoured a nest of nine sparrows and Calchas interpreted the sign to mean that nine years would pass before the Achaeans would nally take Troy The soldiers vow that they would not abandon their struggle until the city fell Nestor encourages Agamemnon to arrange his troops by city and clan so that they can fight side by side with their friends and kin 0 Homer enters a catalog of the whole army at this point in the poem I He the cities that have contributed troops the number of troops that each has contributed and who leads each contingent Zeus sends a messenger to the Trojan court telling them of the Greeks formation 0 The Trojans prepare their troops under the command of King Priam s son Prince Hector I Homer then catalogs the Trojan forces Book Three The Trojan army marches from the city gates to meet the Achaeans 0 Paris the Trojan prince who started the war by stealing Helen from her husband Menelaus challenges a to single combat with any of the Achaean warriors I When Menelaus steps forward I Paris loses heart and returns to the Trojan ranks 0 Hector Paris s brother and the leader of the Trojan forces lectures Paris for his cowardice O Hurt by Hector s insult Paris agrees to duel Menelaus and declares that the contest will end the war by deciding which man shall have Helen 0 Hector presents the terms to Menelaus who accepts 0 As Paris and Menelaus prepare for their duel the goddess Iris disguised as Hector s sister Laodice visits Helen O Iris urges Helen to go to the gates and witness the battle to be fought over her I She agrees and goes finding King Priam at the gates 0 Priam asks Helen about the Achaeans he sees and she identifies Agamemnon Ajax and Odysseus O Priam marvels at their strength but eventually leaves the scene unable to bear watching Paris fight to the death 0 Paris and Menelaus and begin their duel and neither is able to kill the other 0 Menelaus breaks his sword over Paris s helmet and then grabs him by the helmet I Aphrodite an ally of the Trojans snaps the strap of the helmet so that it breaks off in Menelaus hands 0 Menelaus retrieves his spear and is about to drive it home into Paris when Aphrodite whisks Paris away to his room she also summons Helen there 0 Helen after chastising Paris for his cowardice lies down in bed with him 0 Back on the battlefield both armies search for Paris who has magically disappeared O Agamemnon insists that Menelaus has won the duel and demands Helen back Book Four 0 In this book the gods engage in their own daels aside from the human war 0 Zeus argues that Menelaus won the duel and the war should end as the mortals agreed 0 Hera who has invested much in the Achaean cause wants the destruction of Troy 0 Zeus gives way and sends Athena to the battlefield to restart the fighting I Disguised as a Trojan soldier Athena convinces the archer Pandarus to shoot at Menelaus 0 Pandarus fires but Athena who wants merely to restart the fighting de ects the arrow so that it only wounds Menelaus 0 Agamemnon meets Nestor Odysseus Diomedes etc and challenges their pride by recounting the deeds of their fathers This spurs them on 0 None of the major characters is killed or wounded but Odysseus and Great Ajax kill many Trojans 0 The gods are involved with Athena helping the Achaeans and Apollo helping the Trojans Alternative names for characters 0 Agamemnon Atrides 0 Diomedes Tydides 0 Ajax Telamonian Ajax Great Ajax 0 Paris Alexander
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