• Very little is known about Homer• Homer may actually be a name for a group of writers who composed these two epics• The Iliad is attributed to him• Some scholars believe he was blind• The Iliad was composed in the eighth century B.C.• Wrote The Odyssey, an epic about Odysseus’s ten-year journey home at the end of the Trojan WarHomer
• The Setting of The Iliad is during the time of the Trojan War• The Trojan War is a conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans (of the city of Troy, in modern day Turkey)• Scholars are unsure if there even was a Trojan War. If it did occur, it happened around 1200 B.C.Setting
• Paris—Prince of Troy—kidnapped Helen from her Greek home• She was considered to be the most beautiful woman in the worldThe Trojan War—Beginnings
• Helen’s husband Menelaus gathered an army (Greek) to invade Troy and bring her home, thus the face that launched a thousand shipsThe Face that Launched aThousand Ships
• Menelaus’s brother Agamemnon helped lead the Greeks in their siege.The war rages on …
• The war lasted for ten years with neither side gaining an advantage • The Greeks tricked the Trojans • They offered a wooden horse as a peace offering. Instead Greek soldiers were hidden inside • The horse was led inside the gates of TroyThe war draws to a close
Trojan Horse* interludeBeware of Greeks bearinggifts or gifts bearing Greeks*The Trojan horse episode is actually found inThe Aeneid by Virgil. The events in that story takeplace between The Iliad and The Odyssey .
• Hero of The Iliad• Flawed hero• The Wrath of Achilles• Swift runner• Mother is a goddessAchilles
• Achilles mother is Thetis, a sea goddess (immortal)• Achilles’s mother bathed him in the river Styx thus making him invulnerable; however, she held him by the ankle, so the waters did not touch him there. As a result, his only weakness was his ankleLegends of Achilles
• Achilles slays one of Hector’s brothers• Hector tries to avenge his brother’s death but flees from Achilles• The goddess Athena persuades Hector to fight• Hector was fated to die at the hands of AchillesHector v. Achilles
• While Achilles is off the battlefield, Hector kills Achilles’s best friend, Patroclus• During his grief, Achilles swears that he will kill HectorHector v. Achilles, 2d ed.
• Hector asks Achilles to turn his body over to Priam at his death • Achilles refuses • Achilles drags Hector’s body behind a chariot for all the Trojans to see, including his father, PriamAchilles slays Hector
• Thetis tries to consol her son Achilles after his best friend is killed by Hector• Achilles distraught, suicidal; his wrath evident, wants to kill Hector• Thetis’s prediction to her son• Achilles shows he can keep his anger under control (even though he blames Agamemnon)• In Zeus’s hands• Achilles—widow maker!The Immortal Shield—ll. 1-71, pp. 67-69
• Hector’s request of Achilles• Achilles refuses (his anger blinds him!)• Their fight begins; Achilles strikes first• Hector realizes his fate by the gods has been sealed• Achilles strikes a mortal blow; Hector again asks him to return his body for a proper burial but Achilles refuses• Before he dies, Hector understands the wrath of Achilles• Achilles desecrates the body of Hector• Priam to speak to AchillesDesolation before Troy—ll. 72-282, pp. 70-75
• Priam meets Achilles to ask for Hector’s body• Achilles is able to control his wrath• Achilles agrees to hand over the body for a proper burial• Priam and Achilles agree to an eleven-day truce of the fightingA Grace Given inSorrow—ll. 284-458, pp. 76-80