Summary of Plot
A highly condensed summary:
The Iliad is set three millennia ago, during the final year of the Trojan War, a conflict in which Greek warriors sailed the Aegean to what is now Turkey and besieged the citadel of Troy for ten years.
In the first few pages the Greek hero Achilles quarrels with the chief king, Agamemnon, over a female slave whom the Greek soldiers had awarded to Achilles as a prize of honor in recognition of his exploits.
Agamemnon seizes the woman. Achilles withdraws from fighting in a rage, and remains withdrawn for the bulk of the poem, during which time the Trojans, led by Hector--Trojan King Priam's son--almost burn the beached Greek ships and drive the invaders into the sea.
Hector kills Achilles' close friend, Patroclus, prompting Achilles to resume fighting. The Greeks drive the Trojans back to their citadel. Achilles kills Hector. He abuses the corpse but, in the final pages of the poem, returns it to Priam for funeral honors.
The Iliad ends there, before Achilles dies from an arrow shot into his heel, before the Greeks enter Troy by means of a hollow wooden horse and destroy the citadel.
Read summary in Wikipedia.
See image of Achilles' shield.
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About the Iliad
Main Characters (Mortal)
Gods & Goddesses
Map of the Aegean
The Iliad: Who & How Authored?