The story ends with Hector’s funeral. For nearly 3,000 years, readers have found the Iliad a moving expression of the heroism, idealism, and tragedy of war. In addition to the battle scenes, the Iliad tells about life within Troy. It describes the emotional farewell between Hector and his wife, Andromache, who foresees his death. Hector is a great soldier. But he basically represents the family man who is called on to defend his country and, in so doing, loses his life. The poem also deals with issues of honor and social obligation.

Iliad is one of the oldest surviving Greek poems. According to tradition, it was composed by the ancient Greek poet Homer, probably in the 700′s B.C. The Iliad describes certain events in the final year of theTrojan War, which was fought between Greece and the city of Troy. According to legend, the Trojan War lasted 10 years, until Greece defeated Troy. Many scholars believe the legend is based on a real war of the mid-1200′s B.C. For information on the historical background and authorship of the Iliad.

According to the Iliad, the Trojan War was fought over Helen, the beautiful wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. Helen had been taken from Sparta to the city of Troy by Paris, a son of the Trojan king, Priam. Menelaus’s brother, Agamemnon, led an army of Greek heroes to bring Helen back to Sparta. The Iliad is divided into 24 books (sections). The story covers 54 days. Most of the action takes place in the Greek camp, inside the walls of Troy, and in nearby areas. A quarrel develops between Agamemnon and Achilles, the greatest of the young Greek heroes. Achilles feels he is not being adequately rewarded for his services to the Greeks. Agamemnon, in turn, feels that Achilles does not have enough respect for his position as commander of the army. Achilles withdraws into his tent and refuses to fight. Without Achilles, the Greeks are driven back to their ships by Trojan forces led by Hector, another of Priam’s sons. Achilles’s closest friend, Patroclus, goes to fight in Achilles’s armor to help the Greeks. Hector kills Patroclus, which arouses Achilles to seek revenge. Achilles then kills Hector outside Troy. He keeps Hector’s body, until Priam comes to plead with him. Achillestakes pity on Priam and gives him the body for proper burial.

The story ends with Hector’s funeral. For nearly 3,000 years, readers have found the Iliad a moving expression of the heroism, idealism, and tragedy of war. In addition to the battle scenes, the Iliad tells about life within Troy. It describes the emotional farewell between Hector and his wife, Andromache, who foresees his death. Hector is a great soldier. But he basically represents the family man who is called on to defend his country and, in so doing, loses his life. The poem also deals with issues of honor and social obligation.

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