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Iliad Short Summary

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Iliad is a poem by Homer about the events that take place years after the Trojan War.

A Quick Plot Overview

Tensions are high among Achaians ten years after the Trojan War. Chrysies, a priest, has arrived to ask Agamemnon, the King, to release Chrysies daughter held captive. Agamemnon denies the request. The priest prays to Apollo to plague Achaeans.  Nine days of plague later, Achaeans gather and demand the release of the girl. Agamemnon agrees but on the condition that he would get Briseis, Achilles girlfriend, who was the greatest warrior. Achilles gives up his girlfriend but refuses to fight for them any longer. Achilles prays to Thetis for the Achaeans becomes defeated in war, and it is made so.

Achaeans begin realizing how much they need Achilles when the Achaean troops are pinned down near the beach by Trojan forces. Patroclus requests to go in battle in Achilles place, and he even wears his armor. The Trojans see him and believe its Achilles and become terrified. However, Patroclus is killed by Hector who led the Trojans who then discovers it was not Achilles

On learning of his friend’s death, Achilles vows to exact his revenge. He sends for his armor made by Hephaestus, the god of fire, and his mother, who is used to spoiling him retrieve it. Achilles returns to battle and kills several Trojans including Hector in personal combat.

Achilles is not content with the win. He goes on to abuse the body of Hector for days after the war. Patroclus had received a worthy funeral. The gods do not like what Achilles was doing, and they send down a message to Achilles to give the body up. King Priam, a Trojan comes unarmed at night and reasons with him Achilles and the two eat and share a moment of reflecting. Achilles grants the proper burial of Hector. The poem ends with Hector’s funeral, but it revealed that Achilles would die soon and troy would become captured.

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