• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Book one of the Iliad - short summary

Extracts from this document...


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. ...read more.


Surely, if the gods can forgive such an error as Agamemnon made, Achilleus should also be able to do it? The story about 'the Repents' tries to turn Achilleus round to Phoinix's way of thinking. The story is about how Folly runs ahead of them, wreaking havoc upon mortal men, and those who kindly receive 'the Repents' afterward are looked upon favourably as 'the Repents' are daughters of Zeus and have the ability to heal the damage done by Folly. This is obviously an analogy for their current situation. The 'Folly' in this case was the actions of Agamemnon, in unjustly taking Achilleus prize as his own, and 'the Repents' are the three men come to plead with Achilleus to take up his sword and rejoin the ranks of the Achian army. It is a subtle way of telling Achilleus that if he does 'show respect as the daughters of Zeus approach' he will 'pay with his own hurt'. This is a powerful example which Achilleus should not ignore. ...read more.


Agamemnon has realised his blindness, or 'ate', in taking Achilleus prize in the first book. He is sorry for his action, but not because it is unjust, simply because Achilleus is no longer fighting and they are losing the battle due to Hektor's fighting skill. This is the reason he sends the three men to beg Achilleus to come back to them, and attempts to buy Achilleus with a long list of gifts. Achilleus senses he is not truly sorry and refuses to come back. This has serious consequences for Achilleus. He will not amalgamate with the Achian army, and so will later have to pay with the life of his best friend, Patroklos, in order to get him to finally enter battle. This is what brings his own folly to and end, and when he steps onto the battle field again, the Achians start to win, and he kills Hektor, leaving Priam's city nearly fallen. We do not see the actual sacking of Ilios in the Iliad, but it is inferred that this will happen soon after Hektor's death, as will Achilleus' own death. His refusal to battle in book nine has cost him his dearest friend, and ultimately his own life. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Homer section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Homer essays

  1. The Odyssey is an epic tale imbued with the shared challenges and experiences of ...

    Afterall, who is he if not her lover and life partner? Yet, when we get our first glimpse of Odysseus his very existence is threatened. As the sole survivor, guilt has paralyzed him. He is trapped on the island of Ogygia with the goddess Calypso.

  2. Hecuba: Queen of Troy.

    The entire Trojan War is fought because men on opposite sides desire her. Hecuba loves in a nurturing manner, while Helen loves in a sexual manner. The showing of ones breast may have been a trend in the days of the Trojan War, but a comparison between Homeric women can

  1. Odysseus, An Egotistical Cretan. Odysseus tells Athena, whom he believes is a shepherd, ...

    him in his escape from Crete and his true destination was either Pylos or Elis. Here he emphasizes the honesty of the Phoenicians by telling the shepherd that they did not rob him and only left him on Ithaca because a storm blew them off course.

  2. A simile Homer uses twice, the first time to describe Paris, the second time ...

    Paris' outward show of bravery at the beginning of book three when he is seen challenging the Greeks to "fight

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work