The most powerful warrior in The Iliad, Achilles commands the Myrmidons, soldiers from his homeland of Phthia in Greece. Proud and headstrong, he takes offense easily and reacts with blistering indignation when he perceives that his honor has been slighted. Read an in-depth analysis of Achilles.
At his birth, his mother had dipped him in the Styx, so that all parts of his body are invulnerable to hurt except the heel by which she held him. A young man of great beauty, strength, courage, and skill in battle, he nevertheless possesses two tragic flaws, an imperious will and a strong sense of vanity.
Enraged because King Agamemnon orders him to surrender the maid Briseis, whom Achilles had taken as his own prize of war, he quarrels bitterly with the commander of the Greek forces and withdraws from the battlefield.
When the Trojan host attacks, driving the Greeks back toward their ships, Achilles remains sulking in his tent. So great is his wrath that he refuses to heed all entreaties that he come to the aid of the hard-pressed Greeks.
When the Trojans begin to burn the Greek ships, he allows his friend Patroclus, dressed in the armor of Achilles, to lead the warlike Myrmidons against the attackers. Patroclus is killed by Hector, the Trojan leader, under the walls of the city.
Seeing in the death of his friend the enormity of his own inaction, Achilles puts on a new suit of armor made for him by Hephaestus and engages the Trojans in fierce combat.
When the sorrowing king visits the tent of Achilles at night and begs for the body of his son, Achilles relents and permits Priam to conduct funeral rites for Hector for a period of nine days.
As the commander of the Trojan forces, he is the greatest and most human of the heroes, an ideal figure in every respect: His courage in battle, his courtesy in conference, his submission to the gods, and his sad fate at the hands of vengeful Achilles provide an admirable contrast to the actions of the blustering, cunning, cruel, and rapacious Greeks.
After the fall of Troy, she was taken into captivity by Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles. Still later, according to The Aeneid, she married Helenus, the brother of Hector, and ruled with him in Pyrrhus. During the sack of Troy, Neoptolemus killed the child by hurling him over the city wall.
Courageous and cunning but often rash and arrogant, as in his treatment of Achilles, he is the commander of the Greeks in the war. He stands as a symbol of the capable leader, without the heroic qualities of the more dramatic warriors who fight under his command.
He is killed by his wife Clytemnestra after his return from Troy. Menelaus Menelaus meh-nuh-LAY-uhsthe king of Sparta and husband of beautiful but faithless Helen, who is seduced and abducted by Paris, the prince of Troy, in fulfillment of a promise made by Aphrodite.
He stands more as a symbol than as a man, a victim of the gods and an outraged husband who avenges with brave deeds the wrong done to his honor. At the end of the war, he takes Helen back to Sparta with him.
In the Odyssey, she is shown presiding over his royal palace. Helen Helen, the wife of King Menelaus of Sparta and, for nineteen years after her abduction, the consort of Paris. Being confined within the walls of Troy, in the company of doting elders, she plays a minor part in the story.
Her attempts at reconciliation unwittingly aid the Greek cause in the capture of Troy. Called to judge a dispute among Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena, he awarded the prize, the golden apple of discord, to Aphrodite, who in turn promised him the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife.
Although his love for Helen, the bride he stole from her husband, has become proud devotion to a principle, Paris nevertheless places himself in jeopardy as a champion of the Trojan cause and offers to meet King Menelaus, the injured husband, in single combat.
Aphrodite, fearful for the safety of her favorite, watches over him and saves him from harm. An arrow from his bow strikes Achilles in the heel and kills the Achaian warrior. One story says that Paris was slain by a poisoned arrow from the bow of Philoctetes.
His devotion to his son Hector and his pity for all who suffer in the war elevate him to noble stature.
Her fate is tragic. She witnesses the death of her sons, the enslavement of her daughter Cassandra, carried into captivity by Agamemnon, and the sacrifice of her daughter Polyxena to appease the shade of Achilles.
He counsels that the maid be returned to her father without ransom. Forced by the intervention of Apollo to send the girl back to Chryses, her father, Agamemnon announces that he will in turn take any other maid he desires.
His choice is Briseis, the slave of Achilles. Forced to surrender Briseis, Achilles and his followers retire from the battlefield and refuse to engage in the fierce fighting that follows.
Agamemnon returns the girl to Achilles shortly before the sulking warrior undergoes a change of mood and returns to the fighting to avenge the death of his friend Patroclus. His death at the hands of Hector is mercilessly and horribly avenged when Achilles and Hector meet in hand-to-hand combat and the Greek warrior kills his Trojan rival.
Reasonable in argument and courageous in the face of great odds, Patroclus distinguishes himself in battle and is sublime in his willingness to die for a cause and a friend. Although he is a minor figure in the story, he serves as a foil to haughty Agamemnon and sulking Achilles.
He and Nestor are the counselors who interpret rightly the will of the gods. Diomedes Diomedes di-oh-MEE-deeza valiant Argive warrior who dashes so often and fearlessly between the Greek and Trojan lines that it is difficult to tell on which side he is fighting.Homer uses Odysseus' stability and maturity as a foil to both Achilles and Agamemnon.
There is no character development in Odysseus, but his purpose in the . Likewise, the death of Achilles and the eventual fall of Troy are not covered in the poem, and these matters are the subjects of other (non-Homeric) "Epic Cycle" poems, which survive only in fragments.
“The Odyssey”, a separate work also by Homer, narrates Odysseus’ decade-long journey home to Ithaca after the end of the Trojan War.
Comparative Analysis of the Aeneid, Odyssey, and Iliad The Iliad and the Odyssey are two of the best Greek epics written by Homer. Despite their popularity, almost nothing is known about the author beyond the existence of his masterpieces.
In both the Iliad and the Odyssey, Homer portrays the lust for another man’s wife. In the Iliad, Paris abducts Helen, the wife of Menelaus. In the Odyssey, several suitors ask for the hand of Penelope, the wife of Odysseus and Calypso promises immortality and an immortal relationship to Odysseus.
The oldest epic poems, and therefore the oldest pieces of Western literature, are the Iliad and the Odyssey, attributed to the Greek poet Homer. In these two poems, mythology and history intersect as gods and monsters interfere in the affairs of humans.
The Iliad is centered around the Trojan War, notably the death of the Trojan king Hector. Hector is . He shows Odysseus how to get back to Ithaca and allows Odysseus to communicate with the other souls in Hades. Nestor - King of Pylos and a former warrior in the Trojan War. Like Odysseus, Nestor is known as a clever speaker.