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Book one of the Iliad - short summary

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  • Essay length: 936 words
  • Submitted: 07/11/2004
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Kate Graham - Gobbet Practice - The Iliad

In book one of the Iliad, we learn of Achilleus 'menis', meaning his rage or wrath. He begs his mother, the goddess Thetis to ask Zeus to bring death and dishonour upon the Achians for Agamemnon's great insult to him, namely taking his prize the girl 'Briseis'. In this extract we see Aiax, Phoinix and Odysseus go to plead with Achilleus to re-enter the battle. Phoinix is a father figure to Achilleus, he used to tutor him as a child and so his pleading to Achilleus to re-join the battle should be all the more powerful. The Achian army need Achilleus to fight, because due to Zeus weighing of the fates, he had decided to favour the Trojans, and grant them success in battle. He showed which side his favour landed on with lightning bolts sent from Mount Olympus, and all the Achians are afraid of Zeus, ruler of the gods, as he is immensely powerful. Hektor, son of Priam who rules Ilios (Troy), has gone on a murderous rampage, and no man can stop him, which is why they need Achilleus to rejoin battle and fight with Hektor.

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