Full Title: The IliadAuthor: HomerType of Work: PoemGenre: EpicLanguage: Ancient Greek
Time and place written: Unknown, but probably mainland Greece, around 750 b.c.Date of first publication: UnknownPublisher: UnknownNarrator: The poet
Point of view: The narrator speaks in the third person. An omniscient narrator, he frequently gives insight into the thoughts and feelings of even minor characters, gods and mortals alike.
Tone: Awe-inspired, ironic,lamenting,pityingTense: Past
Setting (time): Bronze Age (around the twelfth or thirteenth century b.c.); The Iliad begins nine years after the start of the Trojan WarSetting (Place): TroyProtagonist: Achilleus
The Iliad: Cast of Characters Principal Gods and GoddessesAPHRODITE: goddess of love and daughter of Zeus.PHOIBOS APOLLO: the archer god, cause of plagues, god of prophecy and a divine singer; the son of Zeus and Leto; a partisan of the Trojans.ARES: god of war, son of Zeus, and lover of Aphrodite.ARTEMIS: sister of Apollo, goddess of the hunt.PALLAS ATHENE: Zeus’ daughter, a warrior goddess, goddess of wisdom, patroness of the women’s craft of weaving, a powerful ally of the Greeks and protectress of Odysseus.HADES: god of the underworld, the realm assigned to him when the sky, sea and underworld were divided among the three sons of Kronos.
HEPHAISTOS: the divine smith and god of fire, son of Zeus and Hera.HERA: jealous wife – and sister – of Zeus.HERMES: son of Zeus who guides souls to the Underworld.KRONOS: father of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades and Hera; he was overthrown by Zeus.POSEIDON: son of Kronos, brother of Zeus and lord of the sea.THETIS: a sea goddess, wife of the warrior, Peleus, and divine mother of Achilleus.ZEUS: the son of Kronos and most powerful of the gods; brother of Poseidon, Hades and the goddess, Hera, his wife; as lord of the sky, the thunderbolt is his most potent weapon.
MORTALSGREEKS(called Argives, Danaans and Achaians by Homer)ACHILLEUS: leader of the Myrmidons and central character of the Iliad; son of the goddess, Thetis, and the warrior, Peleus.AGAMEMNON: son of Atreus, king of Mykenai, brother of Menelaos and most powerful Greek king.AIAS (Telamonian Aias): duels with Hektor(bk. 7), forms part of the embassy to Achilleus (bk. 9), defends the ships (bk. 15), and leads the effort to recover Patroklos’ body (bk. 17).
AIAS OILEUS: the lesser of the two men named Aias, leader of the Lokrians, warriors famed as archers.DIOMEDES: son of Tydeus, great warrior whose exploits form the subject of book five.HELEN: daughter of Zeus and Leda, step- daughter of Tyndareus; wife of Menelaos who eloped with Paris.KALCHAS: the seer of prophet of the Greeks.MENELAOS: son of Atreus, brother of Agamemnon, lord of Lakedaimon (Sparta), husband of Helen.NESTOR: aged king of Pylos and a wise counsellor who often uses from the past to advise and instruct the Greek warriors.
ODYSSEUS: son of Laertes, lord of Ithaka, famed of wisdom and trickery.PATROKLOS: son of Menoitios and companion of Achilleus.PHOINIX: aged tutor of Achilleus and one of the members of the embassy to Achilleus in book nine. Trojans and their alliesAINEIAS: leader of the Dardanians, a Trojan clan, and son of Anchises and the goddess, Aphrodite.ANDROMACHE: wife of Hektor.BRISEIS: woman captured by the Greeks in a raid and given to Achilleus as a slave.
CHRYSEIS: daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo.GLAUKOS: an ally of the Trojans and Sarpedon’s second-in-command.HEKABE: queen of Troy, wife of Priam and mother of Hektor.HEKTOR: son of Priam and Hekabe and leading warrior of the Trojans.PARIS (Alexandros): a son of Priam.PRIAM: aged king of Troy, married to Hekabe, father of fifty sons.SARPEDON: son of Zeus by a moral woman, Laodameia; lord of the Lykians and the most important ally of the Trojans.
Major Conflict: Agamemnon’s demand for Achilles’ war prize, the maiden Briseis, wounds Achilles’ pride; Achilles’ consequent refusal to fight causes the Achaeans to suffer greatly in their battle against the Trojans.
Rising Action: Hector’s assault on the Achaean ships; the return of Patroclus to combat; the death of Patroclus
Climax: Achilles’ return to combat turns the tide against the Trojans once and for all and ensures the fated fall of Troy to which the poet has alluded throughout the poem.
Falling Action: The retreat of the Trojan army; Achilles’ revenge on Hector; the Achaeans’ desecration of Hectors corpse
Themes: The glory of war; military values over family life; the impermanence of human life and its creationsMotifs: Armor; burial; fire
Symbols: The Achaean ships; the shield of AchillesForeshadowing: Foreshadowing is prominent in The Iliad.