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Mock Epic in Augustans

Date of publication: 2017-09-03 02:03

Iris , messenger of Zeus, warns the Trojans of the coming attack. The Trojans and their allies prepare for battle. Their leader is Priam s son, Hector of the shining helm, a civilized man and a great warrior. He is their champion. Important also is Aeneas , favored by the gods to survive and be the father of all Trojans afterward.

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Centaur. Wise and gentle, he is mentioned as a friend to Achilles back home. Myths portray him as an important mentor to the Achilles, and Achilles mighty spear is a gift from Chiron.

SparkNotes: The Iliad: Study Questions & Essay Topics

Also called Alexander. Prince of Troy. Son of Priam. Husband of Helen. His choice of Aphrodite in the beauty contest of the goddesses wins him Helen. Helen s abduction causes the Trojan War. Paris is a strong fighter, but he has little appetite for battle. His greatest skills remain those of the bedroom.

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Queen of Troy. Daughter of Dymas. Wife of Priam. Mother of Hector. Hecuba fears for the fate of her husband when he goes to ransom Hector s body. Earlier, she watched from the ramparts with horror as Achilles desecrated the corpse of her most beloved son.

King of Troy. Son of Laomedon. Father of Hector, Paris, and many other Trojan heroes. An old man with no appetite for war, Priam watches the battles from the ramparts of Troy. He ransoms Hector s body at the end of the epic.

Agamemnon is often unsteady as king, weighed down by the responsibility of his position. When he tries to use reverse psychology to goad his troops into battle readiness, he ends up demoralizing his own soldiers. He is reliant on Odysseus, a crafty man beloved of Athena and the perfect counselor, to bring the troops back into line. It is Odysseus, and not Agamemnon, who answers and humiliates the unruly Thersites. He uses the scepter of Agamemnon in these scenes, symbolizing Odysseus important role as a leader behind the leader. But Odysseus never seeks to usurp Agamemnon s position. He is a great man, less overwhelming than some of the other heroes, but more balanced and less tainted by the weakness of pride.

King of Mycenae. Son of Atreus. Brother of Menelaus. Commander-in-chief of the Achaean forces. As the high king of the Achaeans, Agamemnon feels the burden of responsibility most strongly. He is at times torn by indecision, and at other times he is a stubborn and monstrously proud man. His insult to Achilles honor is an outrage, and he is never able to bring himself to give Achilles the true apology that will bring the great warrior back to battle. But his majesty is recognizable, and his attacks of indecision show how seriously he takes his role as ruler.

Because of this dishonor, anger seizes Achilles and he strides toward Agamemnon to kill him. Hera sends the goddess Athena to stop him. Only Achilles can see Athena, who tells him not to kill the king. She promises that Achilles will be justly compensated for this great dishonor. Achilles obeys her, but he vows to Agamemnon that one day the Achaeans will come begging Achilles for help. They will need his protection from Hector , the greatest of the Trojan warriors, and Agamemnon will regret his pride.

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