The Iliad and the Odyssey

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					The Iliad
     An Epic Poem
       By Homer
Written around 750 B.C.
    Classical Greek Poet
    Homer told stories
    He wrote about
    preserving honor- the
    most important thing.
    He was a blind man
    whose date of birth is
           Background Info
 The “Iliad” comes from the word Ilion, which was
  another name for the city of Troy, located in Asia

 Around 1200 B.C. the Greeks fought against Troy
  (the Trojans) in the great Trojan War.

 Homer composed the Iliad, which tells the part of the
  story of the Trojan War, around 350 years after it
 The theme stated at the beginning of the Illiad is “the
  rage of Peleus’ son Achilles” and the consequences of
  his rage.

 Other themes:
       Rage
       Glory of War
       Role of Women in Ancient Civilization
       Military Glory over Family Life
       Human Life and the Role of the Gods
       Hubris
What types of epics are the Iliad
      and the Odyssey?
  Iliad – War Epic
  Odyssey – Journey
            Epic Form: Structure

 A long poem, typically one derived from ancient
  oral tradition, narrating the deeds and
  adventures of heroic or legendary figures, or the
  history of a nation.

 Homer’s uses formulaic, or fixed, expressions that
  made verses easier to remember, to be able to recite
  it to audiences later.
       Epic Form- Long Speeches

 The lengthy, formal speech is another typical
  element of the Homeric epic form.

 Homer’s characters commonly express thoughts and
  feelings by delivering long speeches addressed to
  other characters. (Especially at moments of crisis,
  characters deliver long monologues in which they
  address their own souls or inner spirits.)
  Literary Element: “Homeric”
Epithets: compound adjective used to
 describe a quality of a person.

Epithets came about as a result of
 composing and listening to oral poetry.

         Ex. “brilliant Achilles,” or “Hector
          breaker of horses,” or “blazing-
          eyed Athena.”
   Epic Form: The Invocation/ “in
            medias res”
 Homer begins the Illiad powerfully by stating the
  epic’s theme and invoking one of the Muses.
 The Muses are nine goddesses in Greek Mythology who
  were believed to preside over all forms of art and science.

 One of the defining features of a Homeric Epic is how
  the story opens in medias res.
 “in medias res”- is Latin for “in the middle of things.”
 Reading a Greek epic from the beginning is like tuning
  into a story already in progress. Many of the story’s events
  have already taken place, but information about those
  events is revealed later in the poem through flashbacks.
              Illiad Beginning
 The Illiad recounts only PART of a long series of
  events in the Trojan War.

 Homer concentrated on a period of less than two
  months into the tenth year of the war.
 According to legend, the war was fought because of
  a quarrel among gods and the resulting incidents of
  betrayal among mortals.

How did the Trojan War start 10 years
     Eris, Goddess of Discord
Angry because she, Eris, was the only god not invited
  to the wedding of the Sea Goddess Thetis to King
Peleus, Eris tossed the Golden Apple marked “For the
               Fairest” into the banquet.
Who is the Fairest?
Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena each
wanted the golden apple.
Zeus would not choose between them
because he did not want the goddesses to be
angry with him.
They chose the Trojan prince Paris to
make the decision of which goddess was the
The Offers
       Hera offered to make
       Paris ruler of Europe
       and Asia.
       Athena offered to let
       Paris lead Sparta in a
       victory over the
       Aphrodite offered
       Paris the most
       beautiful woman in
       the world.
Paris Chooses Aphrodite
       The most beautiful woman in the
       world is Helen, the wife of King
       Menelaus, King of Sparta.
       Aphrodite helps Paris go to
       Menelaus’ court and abducts
        The Beginning of War
Greek King Menelaus called on all those who were loyal to him
including the help of his brother, Agamemnon, King of
They gathered a huge army, and built a thousand ships to carry
the army to Troy to reclaim Helen and to sack a city for its
Helen of Sparta was now called “Helen of Troy”
She was “The face that launched a thousand ships”
The Trojan War

        The battle raged for 10
        A prophet predicted
        that Troy could be
        captured only with the
        help of Greek
        warrior Achilles.
     Where the Iliad Starts…
o For nine years the Greeks attacked Troy, with
  the Trojans at first resisting them.
o Suddenly, in the tenth year of the war, an
  unforeseen event triggered a bitter quarrel
  between Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek
  forces, and Achilles, the greatest of the Greek
o It is at this point that the Iliad begins…
The Hero Achilles
    Knowing of the prophecy, and worried
    that her son would be killed in war,
    Achilles’ mother dipped him in the
    river Styx to make him immortal.
    His only weakness was the place on his
    heals where she held him.
    During the war, Achilles is forced to
    give up his war prize, a slave girl, to
    Agamemnon, and so he refuses to fight.
    Patroclus, his friend, asks Achilles if he
    may ride out in his armor so the
    Trojans would lose heart.
Achilles agreed to allow his friend Patroclus to wear his armor.
The next day Patroclus was killed and stripped of the armor by
the Trojan hero Hector, who mistook him for Achilles.

Achilles was overwhelmed with grief for his friend and rage at

Achilles kills Hector. He desecrated the body, dragging it
behind his chariot before the walls of Troy.

Finally Paris, aided by Apollo,
wounded Achilles in the heel
with an arrow; Achilles died of the wound.
          10 Years of War
The Gods are tired of watching men kill each
other, and decide to help end the war. Athena
whispers an idea in the Spartan hero Odysseus’s
            The Trojan Horse
Odysseus tells them they
will build a huge horse of
Some would climb inside
and hide.
The rest would sail around
the tip of the island, where
they could not be seen.
 One would stay behind
and tell the Trojans that he
had been abandoned by
the Greeks, and that the
horse was an offering to
          The Fall of Troy
The Trojans believed
the trick.
They had a huge
banquet to celebrate
the end of the war.
At night the men from
inside the horse came
out and unlocked the
gates to the city.
        The Burning of Troy
The city is invaded by the
The Trojans are drunk and
spent from their night of
revelry, unable to fight
The Spartans destroy and
burn the city.
Aphrodite saves Helen
from the destruction.
The War Ends
       King Menelaus
       accepts Helen back.
       The Warriors can now
       return home.
       Odysseus leaves for
       home, and his wife
       and son.

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