Summary Analysis Achilles chases the man he believes to be Agenor, but soon Apollo reveals himself to Achilles, taunting him for chasing a god. Achilles is angered that Apollo has prevented him from gaining more glory, and begins running toward the walls of Troy. By running from Achilles, Apollo prolongs his distraction, saving more Trojan lives.
During the battle, the Achaeans capture a pair of beautiful maidens, Chryseis and Briseis. Chryses then prays to Apollo, who sends a plague upon the Achaean camp. After many Achaeans die, Agamemnon consults the prophet Calchas to determine the cause of the plague.
When he learns that Chryseis is the cause, he reluctantly gives her up but then demands Briseis from Achilles as compensation. Furious at this insult, Achilles returns to his tent in the army camp and refuses to fight in the war any longer.
He vengefully yearns to see the Achaeans destroyed and asks his mother, the sea-nymph Thetis, to enlist the services of Zeus, king of the gods, toward this end. The Trojan and Achaean sides have declared a cease-fire with each other, but now the Trojans breach the treaty and Zeus comes to their aid.
With Zeus supporting the Trojans and Achilles refusing to fight, the Achaeans suffer great losses. Several days of fierce conflict ensue, including duels between Paris and Menelaus and between Hector and Ajax.
The Achaeans make no progress; even the heroism of the great Achaean warrior Diomedes proves fruitless.
The Trojans push the Achaeans back, forcing them to take refuge behind the ramparts that protect their ships. Several Achaean commanders become wounded, and the Trojans break through the Achaean ramparts.
They advance all the way up to the boundary of the Achaean camp and set fire to one of the ships. Defeat seems imminent, because without the ships, the army will be stranded at Troy and almost certainly destroyed.
Concerned for his comrades but still too proud to help them himself, Achilles agrees to a plan proposed by Nestor that will allow his beloved friend Patroclus to take his place in battle, wearing his armor. Patroclus is a fine warrior, and his presence on the battlefield helps the Achaeans push the Trojans away from the ships and back to the city walls.
But the counterattack soon falters. Fighting then breaks out as both sides try to lay claim to the body and armor. Hector ends up with the armor, but the Achaeans, thanks to a courageous effort by Menelaus and others, manage to bring the body back to their camp.
When Achilles discovers that Hector has killed Patroclus, he fills with such grief and rage that he agrees to reconcile with Agamemnon and rejoin the battle. Thetis goes to Mount Olympus and persuades the god Hephaestus to forge Achilles a new suit of armor, which she presents to him the next morning.
Achilles then rides out to battle at the head of the Achaean army. Meanwhile, Hector, not expecting Achilles to rejoin the battle, has ordered his men to camp outside the walls of Troy. But when the Trojan army glimpses Achilles, it flees in terror back behind the city walls.
Achilles cuts down every Trojan he sees. Strengthened by his rage, he even fights the god of the river Xanthus, who is angered that Achilles has caused so many corpses to fall into his streams.
Finally, Achilles confronts Hector outside the walls of Troy. Ashamed at the poor advice that he gave his comrades, Hector refuses to flee inside the city with them. In a dramatic duel, Achilles kills Hector.
He then lashes the body to the back of his chariot and drags it across the battlefield to the Achaean camp. At last, the gods agree that Hector deserves a proper burial.Iliad study guide contains a biography of Homer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
In the tenth year of the Trojan War, tensions are running high among the Achaians (a super-ancient name for the Ancient Greeks). First, the priest Chryses comes to ask their leader, King Agamemnon, to release his daughter, whom .
“The Iliad” (Gr: “Iliás”) is an epic poem by the ancient Greek poet Homer, which recounts some of the significant events of the final weeks of the Trojan War and the Greek siege of the city of Troy (which was also known as Ilion, Ilios or Ilium in ancient times).
A summary of Books 3–4 in Homer's The Iliad. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Iliad and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Iliad, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. The Iliad deals with only a small portion of the Trojan War; in fact, it covers only a few months during the tenth year of that war. The ancient Greek audience, however, would have been familiar with all the events leading up to this tenth year, and during the course of the Iliad, Homer makes many references to various past events.