Summary of Iliad by Homer

Summary of Iliad by Homer

The Iliad epic begins with a description of the wrath of the Greek hero Achilles. The war between Greece and Troy has been going on for years. In the eleventh year, the Greek camp was plunged into a catastrophe due to a feud between the Greek heroes Agamemnon and Achilles. The Greeks captured Chryseis, the daughter of Chryses, the priest of the god Apollo. When Chryses wants his daughter back, Agamemnon insults him. Because of this, Apollo became very angry and spread the epidemic in the Greek camp. Agamemnon is finally forced to return his captives, and Achilles’ shared captive Briseis is snatched away. This is the beginning of the conflict between the two, Achilles was furious and refrained from joining the battle. Because of this, the Greek forces began to fall into the hands of the Troy forces. The Greek hero Diomedes showed great courage on the battlefield. He wounded the goddess Aphrodite and the god of war Ares.

Hector of Troy, advancing at breakneck speed, aimed at the Greek camp. One of his motives was to set fire to Greek ships. In the fierce battle between the two sides, Agamemnon, Diomedes, Odysseus, and other heroes of the Greek side were injured and stayed in the camp. Meanwhile, the gods of Mount Olympus split in two and began to support both groups. Devaraja Zeus at first resorted to Troyapaksha but in the end, became inactive and began to observe the battle. When the Greeks were defeated at the hands of Troy, they were compelled to leave with gifts at the request of Agamemnon on the ship Achilles. Achilles did not come himself but sent his friend and comrade, Patroclus with his armor. In the battle, Patroclus killed many Troy soldiers, and Hector killed Patroclus. Fighting escalated between the two sides over possession of Patroclus’ corpse. Achilles was enraged at the news of his colleague’s death and went to war. Achilles’ main objective is to find Hector and kill him.

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Achilles descended into battle and took possession of the body of his comrade-in-arms, the beloved Patroclus, from the clutches of Troy. Then he performed the funeral with dignity and honor. This time Achilles faced Hector. Chasing for a long distance, Xanthus came to the mouth of the river, captured Hector, and killed him. Hector’s body was tied to a chariot and he ran around the battlefield. The people of Troy just saw it as helpless. At last King, Priam came to the camp of Achilles. He came and prayed to Achilles for the body of his son. Achilles handed over the body of Hector to the old king. When Priam reached Triangi, mourning was heard everywhere. In the end, the people of Troy performed Hector’s funeral with due dignity. This is where the Iliad epic ends.

Character Analysis

Main Characters of the Iliad


Achilles is the hero and central character of the great epic Iliad.


Hector is the eldest prince of Troy. He is a brave warrior and a thoughtful leader.


The king of the gods.


Agamemnon is the King of Mycenae and leader of the Achaean armies.


Queen of the gods and wife of Zeus.


She is Achilles’ mother, a sea-nymph.


Paris is a Trojan prince, son of Priam, and brother of Hector. (Summary of Iliad)

Minor Characters


Achilles’ best friend and companion and brother in arms.


The king of Troy.


God of prophecy and music.


The goddess of wisdom.


Poseidon is Zeus’ younger brother, the god of the sea and of earthquakes. 


Aphrodite is the goddess of love.


Diomedes is an Achaean hero, king of Argos.

Great Ajax

Achaean commander. He is physically the strongest among Achaeans. 


Achaean, leader of the forces from Ithaca.


Achaean, king of the Plains.


Brother of Agamemnon and king of Sparta. (Summary of Iliad)


The god of fire and forges.


Most beautiful woman in the world and the wife of Paris and the former wife of  Menelaus.


The god of the river.


A Trojan ally, captain of the Lycians.


A priest of Apollo.


The daughter of Chryses.


A Trojan captain, son of Aphrodite.

Little Ajax

Achaean captain.


Messenger of Zeus.


The god of war. (Summary of Iliad)

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1 thought on “Summary of Iliad by Homer”

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