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The Iliad

The Iliad

  

by Homer

The Iliad 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

Beautiful Troy. The salty Aegean air. The sweet smell of the olive trees. The pools of blood and human remains scattered everywhere. (Hmm. Maybe they should leave that last bit out of the tourism w...

Narrator Point of View

Our narrator isn't an eyewitness to the events of the story—he's just some shlubby guy who likes to write poetry. Instead, he asks the Muse (the goddess of poetry) to inspire him with knowledge o...

Genre

This ain't just any old epic: it's the epic that made epics epic.The Homeric poems (the Iliad and the Odyssey) are epic, because our concept of epic comes from Homeric poems. If that sounds too cir...

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. How lofty? So lofty:(Achilleus:) […] after...

Writing Style

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

What's Up With the Title?

The title comes from the word "Ilion," which is an alternate name for Troy and not an alternate name for a lion. (Technically, "Troy" is the surrounding state; Ilion is more like the state capital....

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

We're actually being serious, Shmoopers (and we're never serious). This text is actually not that mind-fryingly difficult. Unless you're reading it in the original Ancient Greek. In which case: pss...

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

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 yo...

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 date. Why m...

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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