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Iliad Book 17

  • Date Submitted: 04/29/2013 07:38 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.1 
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The Iliad: Book 17
In Homer’s “The Iliad”, the characters exemplify the main ideas of cultures they portray. There are two apparent groups represented in “The Iliad”; the Achaeans and the Trojans. The similarities and differences between these ancient Greek groups are numerous and surprising. Within book 17 of “The Iliad”, the plot stands apart as a critical juncture in the Great War, where warriors demonstrate very human emotions for a loved comrade, Patroclus. His death has formed a path that the remaining books take, and controversially determines the achievement of the war.
A fight erupts as both sides fight for Patroclus’ body and Achilles’’ armor. An Achaean warrior, Menelaus, witnesses Patroclus’ death and becomes responsible for the protection of his fallen comrade’s body. In the fight for Patroclus’ body, Euphorbus, the son of Panthous and the first man to wound Patroclus before his death, was killed by Menelaus. Next, When Menelaus notices Apollo aiding Hector and an abundance of Trojans, he goes and gets Ajax to help defend Patroclus’ body, but they come too late to save the armor. With Achilles’ armor and Zeus’ aid, Hector and the Trojans begin to fight with Menelaus, guided by Athena, and the Achaeans. As the battle rages between the two groups, Antilochus, the son of Nestor, is told to go notify Achilles of Patroclus’ death. The Trojans then start to struggle as   Meriones and Menelaus carry the body of Patroclus away and make their escape.
One concept displayed in “The Iliad” is the concept of honor in ancient Greek society, which is shown through the collection of expensive gifts or an opponent’s possession. By acquiring the armor of an enemy, it translates as a trophy to all who see it, confirming the great strength and skill of whomever owns it. Because of this powerful connection between war trophies and respect, Euphorbus is willing to provoke another man, Menelaus, to one-on-one combat. The need to have concrete proof of his achievement...


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