The Iliad Essay Research Paper Aaron RorabaughRorabaugh

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The Iliad Essay, Research Paper Aaron RorabaughRorabaugh 1 Mrs. Kasehagen Pre-AP English 2/1/01 The Iliad The scene opens on the last year of the Trojan war. The war had raged for ten years, with the invading Greeks fighting against Troy. Apollo has sent a plague to the Greeks because Agamemnon, king and leader of the Greeks, dishonored a daughter of Apollo’s priest. When the reason for the plague is discovered, Agamemnon becomes angry and defiant, unhappy to give the daughter back to her father to appease Apollo. Achilles, a superior Greek warrior, challenges Agamemnon’s arrogance, but Agamemnon turns his anger to Achilles, and demands that Achilles give a slave girl to him as a compensation. Achilles fills with rage, but Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, calms both men down so

that they do not fight with swords. Instead they argue, and Achilles withdraws from the Greek camp, refusing to fight until Agamemnon apologizes. Meanwhile, on Olympus, the home of the gods, the gods are taking sides in the conflict. Aphrodite persuades Zeus to give glory to the Trojans, if only temporarily. Zeus agrees, which angers his wife Hera, who favors the Greeks. Many Greek leaders want to abandon the war against Troy, because they are weary. This is not the will of Zeus, and so he sends a false message in dream form to Agamemnon, encouraging him to fight, and promising him an easy victory. Rorabaugh 2 Agamemnon asks the warriors if they want to leave, hoping for a rallying answer, but instead, all of them start heading for their ships. Odysseus, a clever warrior, makes a

speech and motivates the Greeks to stay and fight. Paris, the beautiful and cowardly son of the Trojan king Priam, starts to boast and defies any Greek to fight him. Menelaus, brother of Agamemnon, takes this boast. Both sides agree to a truce, and the winner of this single combat will win the war. Paris is overmatched, but he is saved by divine intervention by Aphrodite. The truce becomes tense, and is broken by Pandarus. Athena assists in helping Pandarus to throw a spear that grazes Menelaus. The battle begins in earnest. Aprhodite, Ares, and Apollo assume human form and fight to help the Trojans. Diomedes, a Greek warrior, has great fortune in fighting, wounding both Aphrodite and Ares so that they have to leave the battlefield. The Battle has quieted for a moment. Glaucus

and Hippolochus, two family friends but now on opposing sides, meet and are able to exchange a few words of friendship. During the Lull, Paris and Hector return to the battle. Hector says goodbye to his wife and son, and makes a speech about accepting fate. Hector offers to fight another single combat battle, and Ajax accepts. They fight until nightfall. Rorabaugh 3 During the night, the Greeks build a defensive wall and steal a few hours of sleep before dawn. Zeus decrees that the gods will no longer interfere in the war. The truce does not last past dawn, and the Trojan army gains position on the Greeks. Hector leads, but he cannot break the Greek defense before night. The Greeks do not sleep, and keep watch all night. Agamemnon offers a full retreat, this time in earnest, but

Diomedes becomes angry and convinces the Greeks to stay. Ajax and Phoenix travel to visit Achilles and beg for his return. Achilles is happy to see them, but he refuses to return to the battle, and becomes angry when they offer bribes of wealth. Agamemnon cannot sleep, and so to ease his mind, he sends Diomedes and Odysseus on a spy mission. They break into the Trojan camp, kill a slow-witted spy, and slay many other Trojans as they sleep. The fighting continues in the morning, and Agamemnon leads a charge. Paris wounds Diomedes, and Odysseus is almost taken prisoner. Achilles hears the fighting from his ship. He sends Patroclus, his dear friend, to see what is going on. The Greek line breaks, and the Trojans enter the Greek camp. The Greeks are on the verge of defeat, and they