The Iliad – A Summary

Myths and Legends — By on September 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm


By Teresa Francis, 14 Sept. 2012

The Iliad by Homer has been a huge influence on the way we see literature today. It is one of the oldest existing pieces of western literature, and contains 15,693 lines.

The seting is the tenth and final year of the Trojan War. Chryses, a priest of the godApollo, beseeches  Agamemnon, commander-in-chief of the Achaeans, to return his daughter who had been taken captive during a raid. Agamemnon ridicules him and refuses to return his daughter, and so it is that the god Apollo casts a plague on the Achaeans as punishment. The Achean prophet Calchas says the only way the plague shall pass over is if Agamemnon returns Chryses’ daughter with gifts to Apollo. Agamemnon then demands that if he returns the girl that he get Briseis, a captive woman who was given to Achilles (the best Achaean warrior) as reward. Achilles is insulted by this, and after the two quarrel viciously, he gives up Briseis and returns to his ship, refusing to fight. He asks his mother, the goddess Thetis, to ask Zeus to bring ruin to the Achaeans as long as he is not with them. Zeus is indebted to Thetis, and grants her wish.

Since Achilles no longer stands with the Achaeans, Hector, champion of the Trojans, drives the Achaeans to their ships. Even after being offered rich prizes by Agamemnon himself, Achilles refuses to return to battle. Their attempts to fortify their ships fail, and several great warriors come to be wounded or injured. It is when his closest friendPatroclus implores him to help that he weakens, and so when he asks, Achilles lends him his armor, so that the Trojans will think that he’s returned. He does warn his friend to return the armor once he succeeds.

Patroclus is almost successful, and drives the Trojans the way to their own city walls, but with Apollo’s help Hector kills him there. He then strips the armor and puts it on himself, and the Achaens just manage to save Patroclus’ corpse from desecration by the Trojans.

Achilles explodes with both anger and grief. His mother warns him that should he kill Hector, he himself shall die soon afterward. Achilles accepts this price for retribution. He settles all disputes with Agamemnon, and with the help of his mother gets a new suit of armor. He charges into battle, nearly single-handedly massacring the Trojans, and mes Hetor. After chasing him around the city, he easily murders him, and then dragging his body to the back of his chariot, runs laps around the city so the Trojan’s can see their champion warrior’s body being slowly and surely ruined.

Returning to the Achaean camp, Achilles holds a spectacular funeral in the name of his beloved friend. He continues to desecrate and abuse Hector’s body. Zeus sends Thetis to tell Achilles to accept the ransom that will shortly be offered by Priam, king of Troy and father of Hector. When Priam himself comes to ask for his son’s body from the man who has slaughtered so many of his men, Achilles suddenly is reminded of his own father who, as Priam has, will outlive his most beloved son. Surged with compassion, he agrees to return the body and offers a cease fire so that the Trojans may host a proper funeral for Hector. For eleven days, the Trojans mourn for their prince properly.

To think that something as old (its written version is usually dated to around the eighth century BC) has made it to our current year and will continue to be read by people from the future show the great beauty of literature. A man who we know next to nothing of, remembered because of his tale about the brave and proud warrior of the Achaeans.



  1. shashi says:

    An epic informative text.Well written and manufactured!If I were to correct it i would go for a 6A touch-wood.Well written and hope to see more.Keep it up!!!

  2. Ramy says:

    A overwhelming greek myth written by homer, speaks about the devastating trojan war; which cost the life of millions- however, it does engrave the names of true heroes.

  3. Adithya Nair says:

    This story, which had amazing vocabulary, was just brilliant! I loved the way you rewrote the story. I could surely see the whole picture in front of me. Just stupendous!

  4. Rohit says:

    A stupendous information text! This particular piece of text, which had overwhelming vocabulary, blew me away!

  5. Timothy says:

    The story has a lot of ambitious vocabulary and a lot of tremendous description. The structure of the summary is absolutely stupendous and one of the best and the most marvelous summaries I’ve ever read!

  6. Varun says:

    Whoa,I truly agree with Adithya,it just took my eyes to some other place:o TREMENDOUSLY GREAT!!!

  7. DavidVictor says:

    The story that you have written is stunning.This story ,which has a very gigantic amount of vocabulary is very interesting and it is a very good piece of work .

  8. ashirvaan says:

    This story is mind blowing, it took me to another world. The best description i have read and stupendous vocabulary. This is a very good piece of work.

  9. A great example of Greek mythology,such a mind boggling piece of literature
    keep up the good work.

  10. haashirgrewal says:

    You have used breathtaking vocabulary to describe the setting!
    Hope you write more brilliant stories.It is truly brilliant!!

  11. Viraaj says:

    This summary, which is being read in many places of the world till date, was explained marvelously and in my view; was an ace.

  12. asher says:

    That’s some mind boggling vocabulary. Superb piece of writing .I’d rate this 10/10.

  13. liam rego says:

    You’ve blown my mind. That was an extraordinary description of the story. I’d hope to see more stuff like this!

  14. Ramy says:

    The illiad, which has a tragic ;but a well written story- speaking of which : the trojan war, is an excellent resoursefull greek myths. Nevertheless, heroes(soldiers of both sides) bravely died during the desolate war.

  15. Ahmad says:

    The structure was marvellous , breath taking vocabz like : captive , fortify and Many more the description was over whelming
    This story was as perfect as our circulatory system
    Overall 10/10
    You should really start a novel
    I’ll be the publisher 😀

  16. Rumail says:

    This story, which had astonishing vocabulary, was a mind blowing example of Greek mythology. It was like I was in the war, visualising everything in front of my eyes.

  17. Aryan Tiwari says:

    Spectacularly written, a overwhelming piece of beautiful, well-written english. The novel, which is based on the Iliad, is magnificent indeed. I truly cannot explain with words. Lastly, it supported a enormous emphasis on the history of the Trojan war.It deserves a lot… a lot of applause and a lot of praise from everyone including me. Truly astonishing

  18. David Joshua says:

    For a really long story of 15,693 lines, I think this is summarised fantastically, which causes the reader to glance through the story within minutes. The Iliad is a story that will never be forgotten moreover you have used excellent vocabulary to add an effect.Well done!

  19. Aaryan says:

    A spectacular in-depth description,which truly portrays the trojan war in such a way that depicts the whole poem.kudos! Teressa 😀

  20. Moses Kazanji says:

    A mind-blowing piece of work. This story,which was remarkably written, really Emphesises how brave this Achaean warrior is.
    I was glued to my seat.It was just fascinating
    Truly you are born to write.

  21. Ian says:

    The replication was top notch, even though I haven’t taken a gander at the authentic one. Detailing and the vocabulary conquered the text which enticed me into it in the first place, But I did come across some errors that none of my collegues mentioned because most of them are flatterers… Inspite of that “minor” flaw, It all sums up to a transcendent piece of writing. Kudos to you!

  22. Calvin jason says:

    An astonishing work of art, written in an spectacular Trojan order,scattered with mind blowing vocabulary and covered with striking punctuation !!
    very well done!:D

  23. Ayan says:

    absolutely stupendous and blindsiding just got wooed by the language features and astonishing piece of astounding writing just loved it. 😉

  24. usman says:

    very informative and interesting used very good complex and compound sentences very well written and good vocabulary i thought it was more than a 6a the author is really amazing. Overall i was amazed.

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