Iliad Book Plot Summaries


Book One

Chryses offers a ransom for his daughter Chryseis which Agamenmon rejects

- leading Apollo to send a plague on the Greek camp as Agamenmon upset his preist

Achilles calls an assembly to try pursuade Agamenmon to return Chrseis

Which leads to Agamenmon & Achilles fighting over the prizes

Athene prevents Achilles from killing Agamenmon & Nestor fails to reconcile the men

Agamenmon takes Achilles war prize - Briseis

Achilles leaves the Greeks & appeals for help from mother Thetis

Thetis pursuades Zeus to make the Greeks start losing

Zeus & Hera quarell because Zeus went behind her back giving Thetis what she wanted - Son Hephaestus reconciles them

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Book One - Character & Themes


 Role of men & women - women war prizes - quarell on Olympus

Role of Gods - Apollo sends plague - Athene prevents Achilles killing Agamenmon

gamenmon   -Thetis supplicates Zeus - Zeus lets the Greeks start losing


Apollo || Chryses || Chryseis || Briseis

Agamenmon - Rude to the gods (Way he treated Chryses & therefore Apollo)

Achilles  - "Swift footed" - Short tempered nearly killed Agamenmon  - coward goes to ships                                                                                                   the ships

Athene || Nestor || Thetis || Zeus || Hera

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Book Three

Armies advance "Tojans advanced w. shrieks" || "Greeks moved foward in silence"

Paris retreats at the sight of Menelaus

Hector 'abuses' Paris and tells him he should finish what he started

Paris proposes a duel between him and Meneluas

Iris warns Helen of the impending duel, Helen misses her former husbund

Trojan elders admire Helen as the "goddesss amoung men"

Priam invites Helen in she descibes Greek heros - Aga. Oddy. Men. Ajax. Idomeneus (Teichoscopia)

Oaths are run by Agamenmon & Paris and Menelaus duel

Aphrodite rescues Paris & forces reluctant Helen to sleep with him

Agamenmon declares Menelaus the winner

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Book Three - Character & Themes


Heroic Code - Fight in name of honour and glory

Family Relations - Paris & Hector

Role Of Gods - Athene saves Paris from death

Religion & Ritual - Oaths and sacrifice

Role Of Women - Helen has to reluctantly sleep with Paris


Paris - coward, leopard skin - brave, put foward the idea of a duel

Menelaus - a born fighter "Proud as a lion"

Helen - V. complicated, longs for former husbund - susses Aphrodites disguise

Hector - protective of his brother .. or mocking?

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Book Four

Zeus tries to make Hear and Athene agree and help make peace between the Greeks & Trojans

Both decline and Athene goes to the battle to restart the fighting 

Athene disguises herself as Laoducus and finds Pandarus pursuading him to shoot Menelaus by saying the Trojans will then be very gratful toward him

Pandarus shoots Menelaus and Athene deflects the shot

Agamenmon & Menelaus shudder, and agamenmon laments for his brother worrying about his reputation - Menelaus comforts his brother saying he will be fine once Machon heals him 

Agamenmon surveys the troops and instructs them with great spirit 

Agamenmon does offend Oddyseus but gives appologies 

Agamenmon compares Diomedes with Tydeus - Diomedes does not complain, Sthenelus does but Diomedes silences him

They go into battle - [bk 3] Apollo rallies the Trojans || Ends with no clear winner

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Book Four - Character & Themes


Role Of Gods - Athenes disguise and restarts fighting

Heroic Code - Agamenmon knows all of his troops by name and their famillies

Family ties - Agamenmon & Menelaus - Ag. looks worries about him?..More his reputation

 - Diomedes compared to father Tydeus 


Athene - interfeering ||  Zeus / Hera - not a great relationship, make decisons w. all of the Gods 

Agamenmon - Seems to worry more about reputation than his brother - knows all of his troops, a good leader 

Meneluas  -  brotherly support, comforts Agamenmon that he will be fine 

Idomeneus-can rely on  || Ajax & Teucer - good leadership || Nestor-needs instruction || Odysseus-frustrated || Diomedes-knows his place || 

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Book Six

Trojans & Greeks have to fight for themselves without help from the gods

Greeks have some success, kill 14 Trojans 

Menelaus ordered to kill Adrestrus by Agamenmon 

Priam's son - prophet Henleus tells Hector & Aeneas to get Hecabe to sacrifice to Athene

Meanwhile Glacus & Diomedes have met on the battle field - story of Bellerophon    - They trade armour after realising their family background and ties

Hector meets Hecabe and she gives an offering to Athene - Aphrodites robe 

Hector then talks to Helen and Andromache on the walls and despite attempting to pursuade him to stay he leaves with Paris 

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Book Six - Character & Themes


War Glory - Hecotr tells Andromache he needs to fight for his father & himself

Family Ties / Relationships - Shows how family reatc to the war, how they are affected by the war

Role of Women - Hecabe, v. motherly offers wine & gives offering to athene;  Helen, treats Hector with respects & Andromache, acts like a respectful wife knowing about the war as   well as her place


Meneluas - sogt hearted was going to save Adrestrus

Glacus & Diomedes - Greeks & Trojans could get on

Hector - Respected for his place in war, a big part of the family much loved

Hecabe, HElen & Andromache - as above

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Book 9

Agamenmon realises he needs Achilles back on the Greek side

Nestor proposes that he appologises

An embassay is sent - Phoenix, Odysseues & Ajax

Odysseus - Achilles rejects the gifts

Phoenix - Story Of Melleager - Achilles thinks about the offer

Ajax - Achilles calms  his anger and thinks about the offer

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Book 9 - Character & Themes

Agamenmon - stubborn does not blame himself for the feud between himself & Achilles

                       Rude, doesn't appologise and sends others to sort his own problembs out

Achilles - Short temp[ered, only took Odysseus to talk to him before he got angry

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Book 11 [P.196-202]

[Paris wounds the Greek doctor Machon & Nestor takes him to the ships]

Achilles sends Patroclus to find out what is happening

Nestor then describes his past achievments to Patroclus and urges him to go fight as Achilles

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Book 11 - Character & Themes


Father & Sons - Nestor recalls his achievments to Patroclus to gain advice || As well as recalls Pat's fathers' advice

Heroic code - Nestor choses to follow the heroic code by recalling achievements and doesn't ever seek revenge


Nestor - Wise, plans ahead

Patroclus - Dear to Achilles, does as he is told, but does describe him as "Easy to annoy"

Achilles - Assertive.. Orders Patroclus to find Nestor

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Book 16

Patroclus tells Achilles that the Greeks are in trouble, so they debate over what to do

Achilles eventually allows Patroclus to wear his armour & fight as him, ensuring he wins glory

Patroclus kills Pyraechmes & Sarpedon [Zeus saves Sarp's body]

Despite Achilles' warning patroclus goes to fight Hector

Zeus turns to Hector to fight, Appollo warns Patroclus

Then Apollo strikes Patroclus, Euphrobius wounds him and Patroclus is finally killed by Hector

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Book 16 - Character & Themes


Heroic Code - Achilles asks Patroclus to ensure him glory

Role of Fate - Patroclus is warned not to fight Hector

Role of Gods - Zeus wants to save Sarpedon but knows he can't


Achilles - blunt/rude - calls Patroclus a "little girl"

Patroclus - weak "little girl" - Fighter - asks to fight - quick witted - tells Hector he didnt kill him it was Apollo

Zeus & Hera - Quarell over Sarpedon

Hector - mocking - rude to Patroclus before death

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Book 18

Antilochus brings the news of Patroclus' death to Achilles

Thetis hears him crying anf then he and thw women slaves lament

Achilles wants revenge on Hector so Thetis promises him new armour

Iris then goes to Achilles to shout to the Trojans - Athene helps

Polydamus advises the Trojans retreat but Hector says no

Thetis then goes to Hephaestus and new armour is made

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Book 18 - Character & Themes


Role of The Gods - Thetis gets Hephaestus to make new armour for Achilles, Hecotr thinks Zeus is on his side

Mortals & Immortals - Achilles & Thetis - Achilles & Athene - Thetis & Hephaestus - Hector & Zeus


Achilles - shows MUCH more emotion and a less angry side to him

Hector - Gives orders and is resected by the Trojans - even if their ideas differ

Patroclus - Has a large impact on Achilles & the war women

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Book 19

Thetis delivers the armour to Achilles, and he summons the assembly expressing regret and appologises to Agamenmon

Agamenmon blames Delusion again and says its not his fault

Odysseus says the Greeks need food - Achilles rejects offer

Briseis only line is lament for Patroclus as she is returened to Patroclus

Athene then secretly feeds Achilles

Achilles starts to fight and the horses predict his fate of death

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Book 19 - Character & Themes


Role Of Fate - Horses can even predict Achilles death - despite Achilles not caring

Role Of Gods - Thetis delivers armour  - Athene feeds Achilles so he is not weak


Achilles - the bigger man, goes to appologise and forget the past - brave excpets fate

Agamenmon - large ego, has to ensure he has the last say to clarify it was Delusion

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Book 22

Appollo starts to mock and taunt Hector disguised as Achilles

Praim & Hecabe ask Hector not to fight but he goes ahead

Achilles attacks Hector and then retreats and runs the walls 3 times

Zeus contomplates saving HEctor like he did with Sarpedon in book 16

Athene tricks Hector into fighting & Achilles kills Hector

Achilles removes Hector's armour and attacks his courpse

Andromache fears for his life and faints at the sight of his death

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Book 22 - Character & Themes


Fathers & Sons - Priam warns Hector not to fight

Role of Gods - Zeus contemplates saving Hector - Athene helps Achilles fight Hector

Heroic Code - Hector eventually excepts fate and attempts to fight Achilles - Achilles' revenge


Priam - not just a king, a father too

Achilles - hippocrite tortues Hector's body

Athene - interfeering

Andromache/Hecabe - care for Hector unconditionaly

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Book 23

Achilles mourns for Patroclus and dreams of his ghost in his sleep

Firewood is collected and Achilles dedicates a lock of his own hair

Aphrodite & Apollo preserve Hector's body

Chariot race

Boxing match



Armed combat

Throwing lump of metal .. ;)

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Book 23 - Character & Themes


Heroic Code - When beaten Diomedes keeps his cool and does not take revenge

Fathers & sons - Ajax son of Telemon also fights









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Book 24

Achilles gets upset and drags HEctor's body but Apollo continues to preserve it

The gods unanimously show pitty toward Hector

Zeus instructs Thetis to tell Achilles to return the body & Priam to ofer Achilles gifts in exchange

Hecabe does try to stop Priam from leaving the Trojan side

Hermes then in diguise accompanies Priam to Achilles

Priam suceeds in the supplication and he laments with Achilles for their losses

Achilles allows Priam 10 days for Hector's funeral and pauses the games

Cassandra sees Priam and tells the Trojans

Andromache, Hecabe & Helen lament in the town for their loss

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Book 24 - Character & Themes


Role of Gods - Zeus tells Achilles to stop mistreating Hector's body & Priam to offer gifts

Role of women - Andromache leads the lamentations


Priam - caring father

Achilles - deep emotion & regret

Andromache - develops an understading of others' loss

Helen - makes her lament about how she will cope

Hecabe - worried mother and wife - asks Priam to stay

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