The Iliad Literary Analysis

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“It is a book about all wars, about the people and characters that you find in every war … about their pettiness, their heroism, their adventures, their sacrifices, and their sufferings.” noted author Cheryl Lowe when describing the Synopses of the twenty-four Books of the Iliad. Homer’s epic, The Iliad, covers the finals weeks leading to the end of the ten year Trojan War. Lowe must surely be right considering the intricate books weave countless heroes’ tales together. Consequently, the synopsis involves a multitude of literary elements: plot, character, conflict, theme, and setting. First off, the beginning plot of The Iliad remains crucial to the storyline. In it Paris steals Helen away from Menelaus, prompting him to “demand surrender …show more content…
One major theme of Homer’s epic becomes clear from the beginning of the story: one man’s actions can affect thousands of lives. In Book II The Iliad states “45 kings and princes from 29 areas who lead the crews of a total of 1,186 ships”. Not only are all of these soldiers fighting for Helen affected, but also all the families left behind, which Homer portrays when Hector’s wife “bemoans the fate of a widow and the orphan, unprotected in a world of violence”. By kidnapping Helen, Paris unintentionally kills thousands of men and leaves even more in grief. Another theme remains apparent halfway through the tale: friendships become deeply rooted ties between warriors. The Iliad reads “Achilles plunges into violent grief; the messenger who brings him the news even fears the hero will kill himself”. At the news of his best friend’s death, Achilles threatens to kill himself for their bond had become so incredibly deep. A third theme uncovered in The Iliad has endured for centuries; war brings glory and honor, but to balk at war shows cowardice. Shown when Hector’s parents “beg their son Hector to come inside the city … Hector dreads taking refuge”. Hector chooses to fight instead of hide even though he knows his death will come; this portrays how influential honor can be in the Greek and Trojan

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