Iliad, Books 1 and 24 Compared

Book 1
Book 24
· Introduction—rage
· Apollo offended, kills many;
· "arrows rained" for 9 days (3)
· Agamemnon and Achilles argue—anger explodes, quarrel (3-10).
· No sleep for Achilles (or Priam). 
· Apollo keeps flesh "undefiled" (467).
· Achilles drags Hector's corpse for 12 days. The gods end their dispute: Achilles must return the body (468-9).
  • Purification of camp (10)
  • Agmememnon sends for Briseis (11)
  • Achilles appeals to Thetis, asking her to go to Zeus (11-13). 
  • Journey to Chryse (sacrifice, xenia, penance)
· Zeus sends for Thetis—gods have argued for 9 days (469-70). 
· Thetis appeals to Achilles, asking him to give up Hector's corpse (471). 
· Iris sent to Troy and Priam (471-472).
  • After 12 days, Thetis visits Zeus, asking him to kill many Greeks; 
  • Zeus nods yes, but granting Thetis' request will cause "disastrous" (16) conflict with Hera.
· Priam mourns, argues with Hecuba, berates his worthless sons (472-475).
· Journey to Greek ships, Hermes as guide (477-481). 
· Libation to Zeus (476), omen. 
· Dispute among the gods that ends with meal, song, and sleep (17-19). 
  • Priam and Achilles meet—control anger and reconcile dispute (482-486). 
  • Xenia—meal and sleep (487-488). 
  • Priam returns with body (488-89).
  • Mourning, burial of Hector (489-492).

Outline of Books in the Iliad

1. Achilles and Agamemnon quarrel. Thetis complains to Zeus about how her son is being treated.

2. Agamemnon dreams and tests the troops. Odysseus rallies the troops and berates Thersites. Catalogue of ships and men.

3. Helen watches from the wall as Menelaus and Paris fight a duel. Paris loses but is spirited back to Troy by Aphrodite. Paris and Helen go to bed.

4. Zeus and Hera quarrel; Pandarus breaks the truce; Agamemnon rallies the captains, and the battle begins anew.

5. Diomedes fights the gods. (Diomedes' aristeia)

6. Hector returns to Troy, rebukes Paris (again), and talks with his wife Andromache about heroism.

7. Ajax and Hector fight an inconclusive duel (halted by darkness). The Achaeans build a wall in front of the ships.

8. The Trojans counterattack. Zeus clarifies his will.

9. Demoralized, the Achaeans send an unsuccessful "embassy" (Phoenix, Odysseus, and Ajax) to convince Achilles to rejoin the fighting.

10. Odysseus and Diomedes go on a night raid behind Trojan lines.

11. Agamemnon fights brutally; Achilles and Patroclus talk. Nestor asks Patroclus to persuade Achilles to rejoin the fight.

12. The Achaeans defend the wall against a fierce Trojan attack. Hector smashes through the gates of the wall.

13. The Achaeans counterattack with Poseidon's help. The Trojans regroup, following Polydamas' advice.

14. The wounded Achaean captains talk. Agamemnon wants to run, but Odysseus and Diomedes shame him out of it. Hera seduces Zeus, and Ajax smashes Hector with a rock.

15. Zeus wakes up and the Trojans counterattack, beating the Achaeans back to the ships and threatening to set them on fire.

16. Patroclus borrows Achilles' armor, and with the Myrmidons, routs the Trojans. Sarpedon dies. Patroclus bravely or foolishly storms the city walls and is killed.

17. Menelaus fights bravely over Patroclus' body. Achilles' divine horses weep for Patroclus. Ajax prays to Zeus.

18. Achilles learns of Patroclus' death. Hector won't listen to Polydamas' advice to retreat behind the walls. Hephaestus makes new armor for Achilles.

19. Achilles musters the troops and Agamemnon "apologizes." Odysseus talks to Achilles about the benefits of a good breakfast. Women weep for Patroclus. Athena "instills" ambrosia in Achilles.

20. The gods join the battle. Achilles fights Aeneas, who is saved by Aphrodite. Achilles taunts Hector and kills many Trojans.

21. Achilles defeats the river with help from Hephaestus and Hera. The gods fight.

22. Achilles fights and kills Hector.

23. Patroclus' funeral and the funeral games.

24. Achilles mistreats Hector's body. Apollo and Hera complain to Zeus about how Hector is being treated. Priam goes on a successful "embassy" to ask for the body of his son. Hector is buried.

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