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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Iliad

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

When and how characters eat is extremely important to the symbolic texture of the Iliad. As you may have noticed, eating is a major social occasion for the Achaian warriors (this is maybe not so su...

Setting

The Iliad takes place in the tenth year of the Trojan War. The Trojan War, as you'll know from the Backstory section of our summary of Book 1, involved a massive army of Achaians (a.k.a. Greeks) wh...

Narrator Point of View

As you will see in the Iliad's opening line, the narrator is not an eyewitness to the events of the story. Instead, he asks the Muse (the goddess of poetry) to inspire him with knowledge of what ha...

Genre

On a basic level, the Homeric poems (the Iliad and the Odyssey) are epic because our concept of epic comes from Homeric poems. If that sounds too circular, then just bear in mind that the Iliad is...

Tone

In keeping with its focus on matters of life, death, fate, and the relationship between mortals and gods, the Iliad maintains an elevated or lofty tone. This is not to say that it is entirely witho...

Writing Style

Both these descriptions ("clear, poetic") of the Iliad's style might seem kind of weird. For many readers, the language of the Iliad seems weird or formal – at any rate, far from clear. And y...

What's Up With the Title?

The title comes from the word "Ilion," an alternate name for Troy. (Technically, "Troy" is the surrounding state; Ilion is more like the state capital.) So the Iliad means "the thing about Ilion."...

What's Up With the Ending?

To first-time readers, the ending of the Iliad is probably one of the most mysterious aspects of the poem. Not only does it focus on the funeral of Hektor, the hero's enemy, but it doesn't tell us...

Tough-o-Meter

For the first-time reader, probably the hardest thing about Homer's Iliad is its language. Even the most up-to-date translation – those by Robert Fagles and Stanley Lombardo use probably the...

Plot Analysis

The Achaians are suffering from plague; something has to be done.Not counting the brief scene of Chryses's embassy, this is the opening situation of the first major scene in the Iliad, which sets t...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Voyage and Return

Achilleus gets in a fight with Agamemnon and refuses to fight alongside the other Achaians.Even though it might be strange to describe the plot of the Iliad as one of "Voyage and Return," if you be...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Achilleus and Agamemnon fight over Briseis. Achilleus gets in a huff and refuses to fight for the Achaians anymore. Instead, he gets Zeus to beat up on the Achaians so they'll know how much they mi...

Trivia

Some scholars believe that Book 10 of the Iliad – the night raid of Odysseus and Diomedes – was not part of the original poem, but was written by somebody else and slipped in at a later...

Steaminess Rating

Whether it's Helen recognizing Aphrodite by her youthful cleavage, Thetis dispensing some free relationship advice to her son, or the scene of Hera and Zeus making love on top of Mount Ida, the Ili...
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