The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer: Tales from Ancient Greece

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The Iliad and the Odyssey are tales from Ancient Greece. In The Iliad, Greece is struggling to rescue their queen, Helen, from the Trojans. Just before the fall of Troy, the Odyssey begins. The Odyssey follows the many struggles of a greek warrior, Odysseus.

The Iliad begins ten years after the start of the Trojan war. It begins with the Greeks fighting over weather or not to return a trojan captive, Chryseis, back to her father, Chryses, a priest of the god Apollo. After King Agamemnon refuses, Apollo sends a plague of pestilence.

Achilles helps the Greeks force the king to return Chryseis, so Apollo ends the pestilence. The king dishonors Achilles and he withdraws himself and his warriors, the Myrmidon, from the war. King Agamemnon feign an order of retreat to test the Greeks, but the Greeks are encouraged by Odysseus to continue fighting. The hostilities stop for a brief moment for Menelaus and Paris to meet in single combat over the Queen Helen. Despite Aphrodite’s(Greek God) interferes to help the out-mached Paris, Menelaus still wins. Favoring the Greeks, Athena prokoes the Trojans and the battle begins again. The Trojans are driven out by Diomedes.

Diomedes challenges Ajax, who is a Greek hero, to single combat. He is nearly defeated but manages to win. Throughout the fight, many gods such as Athena, Poseidon, Apollo, and Hera, argue about helping in the fight, even though Zeus told them not to intervene.

Because Achilles, along with his warriors, not participating in the war, the Trojans start to win. Many are wounded in the battle, including Agamemnon. Even with the help of Ajax, the fortified Greek camp is breached by Hector, and Odysseus and Diomedes are injured. Hector also threatens to set the Greek ships on fire.

Achilles is torn between his allegiances and decides to send his, Patroclus, in his place. He agrees and goes into battle against the Trojans, dressed as Achilles. His success blinds him and, forgetting, Achilles warning, he pursues the Trojans as they retreat to the walls of Troy. He would have won, if not for Hector and Apollo. In the midst of the battle, Hector found Patroclus and, thinking he was Achilles, defeats him with the help of Apollo. The Greeks manage to recover Patroclus’s body before Hector can demolish it. Because of Patroclus’s death, Achilles reconciles with Agamemnon, and leaps back into battle, even though he knows he will probably die. The ten year war comes to its climax, as the gods even join the war.

Achilles prepares for single combat with Hector by getting new armour. He then takes revenge for his friend Patroclus by defeating Hector in the fight. Patroclus’s funeral is finally celebrated. King Priam, Hector’s father, with the help of Hermes, recovers his son’s corps from Achilles. Achilles grants a 12 day truce for Hector’s funeral. This is where the story ends.

The Odyssey starts ten years after the fall of Troy. The story begins 20 years after a greek hero, Odysseus, left his home in Ithaca in order to help the Greeks fight Troy. While he is gone, many suitors come to his wife trying to convince her that her husband is dead, and she should remarry one of them.

Odysseus set out in search of his father and becomes captive to Calypso for 7 years. Zeus and Hermes convince her to let him go. He raft was destroyed by Poseidon and he washed up on an island and was taken to the king Alcinous, and Queen Arete of Phaeacia, where he told of his adventures in Troy.

He talked about his 12 ships that were taken away by a storm. He went on to take about the Lotus-Eaters, who had memory-wiping food, and being captured by Poseidon’s son, Polyphemus, a massive cyclops. He only escaped by poking the giant in the eye with a wooden stake. Even with the help of the King of the Wind, Aeolus, the ships are blown of course yet again, when there home was nearly in sight. He told of his experience with Laestrygones, a cannibal. He then met a witch like god named Circe.

Odysseus had be warned ahead of time by Hermes about her magic, and he became resistant to Circe’s magic, but that did not save his crew. Half of them were turned into pigs. After a year of drinking and feasting on Circe’s island, the Greeks set out again. They traveled to the western side of the world where Odysseus made a sacrifice to the spirits. The spirits accepted and he summoned an old prophet known as Tiresias for advice, along with his mother, who died of grief from Odysseus’s absence, and many other famous men and women. He was again advised by Circe, and he then skirted passed the home of the Sirens, and passed between Scylla, a monster with many heads, and a whirlpool named Charybdis. He then completely ignored both Circe’s and Tiresias’s warnings by hunting one of the sacred cattle of Helios, the sun god. There punishment was a shipwreck that only Odysseus survived. He washed up on the shore of Calypso’s island, where he was convinced to stay and be her lover.

After listening with undying attention, the Phaeacians gladly help Odysseus get home. they finally bring him back home to the island of Ithaca. He was dropped of in a hidden harbor in the dead of night. He disguised himself as a lonely beggar and told fiction about who he was. He learned of how things were standings in his home.

By chance, he meets his son, Telemachus, who was just returning from Sparta. They agree that the constantly increasing, and ever so impatient suitors, must die. Luckily, his wife, Penelope, arranges an archery competition for the suitors. Odysseus, still in digues easily wins. Then he immediately kills all the other suitors.

Finally Odysseus reveals himself to his wife and father. Finally, Ithaca is at peace once again.

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