The Iliad Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. At the beginning of Book 1, what are we told the story will be about?

Homer says that the story will be about the "rage" or "anger" of Achilles, the greatest warrior in Achaia (Greece).

2. What are the origins of Achilles' anger?

Achilles is angry because Agamemnon doesn't want to give a captured girl back, because then he would have no treasures from the war. Agamemnon eventually gives the girl back, but takes Achilles' wife in her place. Achilles is angry and calls Agamemnon shameless and greedy for profit.

3. After Achilles tells his sorrows to his mother, what does his mother do?

His mother goes to Zeus and tells him of Achilles' sorrows and convinces him to take the side of the Trojans in the war until the Greeks return honor to Achilles.

4. Where does Achilles sit in sorrow, and what happens as a result?

Achilles sits in sorrow by the sea, and his mother--Thetis the sea nymph--comes to grieve with him.

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