The Iliad Quotes
Quote 1: "Rage - Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighter's souls, but made their bodies carrion
feats for the dogs and birds
and the will of Zeus was moving towards its end." Book 1, lines 1-6
Quote 2: "What god drove them to fight with such a fury?" Book 1, line 7
Quote 3: "if a man obeys the gods they're quick to hear his prayers." Book 1, lines 5-6
Quote 4: "if I catch you again blithering on this way
Let Odysseus' head be wrenched off his shoulders
never again call me the father of Telemachus
If I don't grab you, strip the clothing off you
Cloak, tunic and rags that wrap you private parts
And whip you howling naked back to the fast ships
Out of the armies' muster - whip you like a cur!" Book 2, lines 302-308
Quote 5: "Don't provoke me - wretched headstrong girl!
Or in my immortal rage I may just toss you over
Hate you as I adore you now - with a vengeance." Book 3, lines 480-482
Quote 6: "Whenever I am bent on tearing down some city
Filled with men you love - to please myself -
Never attempt to thwart my fury, Hera
give me my way. For I, I gave you this
All of my own free will but hardly willing. No,
Of all the cities under the sun and starry skies,
wherever men who walk the earth have dwelled,
I honor sacred Ilium most with my immortal heart." Book 4, lines 47-54
Quote 7: "Drink deep of battle." Book 4, line 301
Quote 8: "did he rampage now with the Trojans or the Argives?
Down the plain he stormed like a stream in spate
A routing winter torrent sweeping away the dikes
The tight piled dikes can't hold it back any longer." Book 5, lines 95-99
Quote 9: "The other's Aeneas, claims Anchises' blood
The noble Anchises, but his mother's Aphrodite
Come, up you go in the chariot, give ground now!
No charging the front ranks, you might lose your life." Book 5, lines 274-277
Quote 10: "Doesn't son of Tydeus know, down deep,
the man who fights the gods does not live long?" Book 5, lines 465-466
Quote 11: "All this weighs on my mind too, dear woman.
But I would die of shame to face the men of Troy
And the Trojan women trailing their long robes
If I would shrink from battle now, a coward." Book 6, lines 523-525
Quote 12: "And someday one will say, one of the men to come
Steering his oar-swept ship across the wine-dark sea
'there's the mound of a man who died in the old days,
one of the brave whom glorious Hector killed.'
So they will say, someday, and my fame will never die." Book 7, lines 101-105
Quote 13: "War - I know it well, and the butchery of men
Well I know, shift to the left, shift to the right
My tough tanned shield. That's what the real drill
Defensive fighting means to me. I know it all
How to charge in the rush of plunging horses-
I know how to stand and fight to the finish
Twist and lunge in the War-god's deadly dance." Book 7, lines 275-281
Quote 14: "On with it - give Argive Helen and all her treasures
Back to Atreus' sons to take away at last.
We broke our sworn truce. We fight as outlaws.
True, and what profit for us in the long run?
Nothing - unless we do exactly as I say." Book 7, lines 402-406
Quote 15: "The god bent his head that the armies must be saved
not die in blood. That instant he launched an eagle-
Truest of Zeus's signs that fly the skies - a fawn
Clutched in its talons, sprung of a running doe,
But he dropped it free beside the handsome shrine
Where the Achaean soldiers always sacrificed to Zeus." Book 8, lines 281-286
Quote 16: "...Where are you rushing now?
What is this madness blazing in your hearts?
Zeus forbids you to fight for Achaea's armies!" Book 8, lines 473-475
Quote 17: "I cannot let us battle the Father any longer,
Not for mortal men...
Men - let one of them die, another live
However their luck may run, Let Zeus decide." Book 8, lines 491-494
Quote 18: "as crosswinds chop the sea where the fish swarm." Book 9, line 4
Quote 19: "That's no lie, old man - a full account you give
Of all my acts of madness. Mad, blind I was!" Book 9, lines 147-148
Quote 20: "Let him submit to me! Only the god of death
Is so relentless, Death submits to no one -
So mortals hate him most of all the gods." Book 9, lines 189-191
Quote 21: "the very gates of death, who says one thing but hides another in his heart." Book 9, lines 378-379
Quote 22: "Two fates bear me on to the day of death.
If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy
My journey home is gone, but my glory never dies.
If I voyage back to the fatherland I love,
My pride, my glory dies...
True, but the life that's left me will be long,
The stroke of death will not come on me quickly." Book 9, lines 499-505
Quote 23: "Athena winged a heron close to their path
And veering right. Neither man could see it
Scanning the night sky, they only heard its cry." Book 10, lines 322-344
Quote 24: "lions stalking through the carnage and the corpses." Book 10, lines 348-349
Quote 25: "Hector bore his round shield in the forefront, blazing out
Like the Dog Star through the clouds, all withering fire
Then plunging back into the cloud - rack massed and dark -" Book 11, lines 69-71
Quote 26: "sharp pain came bursting in on Atrides' strength
Spear - sharp as the labor-pangs that pierce a woman,
Agonies brought on by the harsh birthing spirits,
Hera's daughters who hold the stabbing power of birth -
So sharp the throes that burst on Atrides' strength." Book 11, lines 313-317
Quote 27: "like a huntsman
crying on his hounds." Book 11, lines 339-340
Quote 28: "two wild boars...
fling themselves on the yelping packs that hunt them." Book 11, lines 377-378
Quote 29: "You scratch my foot and you're vaunting all the same -
But who cares? A woman or an idiot boy could wound me so." Book 11, lines 457-458
Quote 30: "... So such was I
In the ranks of men... or was it all a dream?
He'll reap the rewards of that great courage of his
Alone, I tell you - weep his heart out far too late
When are troops are dead and gone." Book 11, lines 907-910
Quote 31: "For suddenly, just as the men tried to cross,
A fatal bird sign flashed before their eyes,
An eagle clutching a monstrous bloody serpent in both talons,
Still alive, still struggling - it had not lost its fight,
Writhing back to strike it fanged the chest of its captor
Right beside the throat - and agonized by the bites
The eagle flung it away to earth, dashed it down
Amidst the milling fighters, loosed a shriek
And the bird veered off along the gusting wind." Book 12, lines 230-239
Quote 32: "No, no put our trust in the will of mighty Zeus,
King of the deathless gods and men who die.
Fight for your country - that is the best, the only omen!" Book 12, lines 278-281
Quote 33: "... Here were the best picked men
Detached in squads to stand the Trojan charge
And shining Hector, a wall of them bulked together
Spear-by-spear, shield-by-shield, the rims overlapping,
Buckler-to-buckler, helm-to-helm, man-to-man massed tight
And the horsehair crests on glittering helmet horns brushed
As they tossed their heads, the battalions bulked so dense
Shoulder-to-shoulder close, and the spears they shook
In daring hands packed into jagged lines of battle
Single minded fighters facing straight ahead,
Achaeans primed for combat." Book 13, lines 151-152
Quote 34: "he stood his ground like a wild mountain boar,
Trusting his strength, standing up to a rout of men
That scream and swoop against him off in a lonely copse,
The ridge of his back bristling, his eyes flashing fire,
He grinds his teeth, champing to beat back dogs and men." Book 13, lines 545-549
Quote 35: "how on earth can a wounded man make war?" Book 14, line 76
Quote 36: "Not so loud the breakers bellowing out against the shore,
Driven in from the open sea by the North Wind's brutal blast,
Not so load the roar of fire whipped to a crackling blaze
Rampaging into a mountain gorge raging up through timber
Not so loud the gale that howls in the leafy crowns of oaks
when it hits its pitch of fury tearing branches down -
Nothing so loud as cries of Trojans, cries of Achaeans,
Terrible war cries, armies storming against each other." Book 14, lines 467-474
Quote 37: "So now, I tell you, drop this anger for your son.
By now some fighter better than he, a stronger hand
Has gone down in his own blood, or soon will go.
It is no small labor to rescue all mankind,
Every mother's son." Book 15, lines 166-170
Quote 38: "Look - a genuine miracle right before my eyes!
Hector's escaped again, he's risen from the dead!
And just as each of us hoped with all his heart
He'd dropped and died at the hands of giant Ajax.
But again some god swoops down and saves this Hector -
And hasn't he wiped out enough of us already?
Now he'll make more slaughter, well I know.
He'd never be at the front, smashing our lines
Unless Old Thunder, Zeus, had put him on his feet." Book 15, lines 339-347
Quote 39: "So fight by the ships, all together. And that comrade
Who meets his death and destiny, speared or stabbed,
Let him die! He dies fighting for fatherland -
No dishonor there!
He'll leave behind him wife and sons unscathed,
His house and estate unharmed- once these Argives
Sail for home, the fatherland they love." Book 15, lines 574-580
Quote 40: "Like a girl, a baby running after her mother,
Begging to be picked up, and she tugs her skirts,
Holding her back as she tries to hurry off - all tears,
fawning up at her she takes her in her arms..." Book 16, lines 8-11
Quote 41: "tight as a mason packs a good stone wall,
That fights the ripping winds - crammed so close
The crested helmets, the war-shields bulging, jutting
Buckler-to-buckler, helm-to-helm, man-to-man massed tight
And the horsehair crests on glittering helmet horns brushed
as they tossed their head the battalions bulked so dense." Book 16, lines 251-257
Quote 42: "Patroclus, Prince, go back! It is not the will of fate
That the proud Trojans' citadel fall before your spear,
Not even before Achilles - far greater man than you!" Book 16, lines 825-828
Quote 43: "Hector! Now is your time to glory to the skies...
Now the victory is yours.
A gift of the Son of Cronus, Zeus - Apollo too -
They brought me down with all their deathless ease,
They are the ones who tore the armor off my back.
Even if twenty Hectors had charges against me
They'd all have died here, laid low by my spear.
No, deadly fate in league with Apollo killed me,
From the ranks of men, Euphorbus. You came third,
And all you could do was finish off my life...
One more thing - take it to heart, I urge you -
You too won't live long yourself, I swear." Book 16, lines 985-997
Quote 44: "...like a lion cornered round his young
When hunters cross him, leading his cubs through woods -
He ramps in all the pride of his power, bristling strength
The heavy folds of his forehead frowning down his eyes." Book 17, lines 151-155
Quote 45: "live or die - that is the lovely give-and-take of war." Book 17, line 262
Quote 46: "charging in as a heavy surf roars in against the rip
at a river's mouth." Book 17, lines 299-300
Quote 47: "So on they fought like a swirl of living fire -
You could not say if the sun and moon still stood secure,
So dense the battle-haze that engulfed the brave
Who stood their ground to defend Patroclus' body." Book 17, lines 421-424
Quote 48: "Then let me die at once." Book 18, line 112
Quote 49: "No more, Polydamas! Your pleading repels me now.
You say go back again - be crammed inside the city.
Aren't you sick of being caged inside those walls?" Book 18, lines 331-333
Quote 50: "The god of war is impartial: he hands out death to the man who hands out death." Book 18, lines 359-360
Quote 51: "My child leave your friend to lie there dead -
We must, though it breaks our hearts...
The will of the gods has crushed him once for all
But here Achilles, accept this glorious armor, look,
A gift from the god of fire - burnished bright, finer
Than any mortal has ever borne across his back!" Book 19, lines 8-14
Quote 52: "... I am sick with longing for you!
There is no more shattering blow that I could suffer.
Not even if I should learn of my father's death." Book 19, lines 381-383
Quote 53: "Our team could race with the rush of the West Wind,
The strongest, swiftest blast on earth, men say -
Still you are doomed to die by force Achilles,
Cut down by a deathless god and mortal man!" Book 19, lines 491-494
Quote 54: "These mortals do concern me, dying as they are." Book 20, line 26
Quote 55: "What do we need with wrangling, hurling insults?
Cursing each other here like a pair of nagging women
Boiling over with petty, heartsick squabbles, blustering
Into the streets to pelt themselves with slander
Much of it true, much not. Anger stirs up lies." Book 20, lines 291-295
Quote 56: "Well I know you are brave, and I am far weaker.
True - but all lies in the lap of the great gods.
Weaker I am, but I still might take your life
With one hurl of a spear - my weapon can cut too,
Long before now its point has found its mark!" Book 20, lines 492 - 496
Quote 57: "Nothing can save you now -
Not even your silver whirling, mighty - tiding river -
Not for all the bulls you've slaughtered to it for years,
The rearing stallions drowned alive in its eddies...die! -
Even so - writhing in death till all you Trojans pay
For Patroclus' blood and the carnage of Achaeans
Killed by the racing ships when I was out of action." Book 21, lines 149-155
Quote 58: "Father Zeus! To think in all my misery not one god
Can bring himself to rescue me from this river!
Then I'd face any fate. And no god on high,
Non is to blame so much as my dear mother -
How she lied, she beguiled me, she promised me
I'd lie beneath the walls of the armored Trojans
Cut down in blood by Apollo's whipping arrows!" Book 21, lines 307-314
Quote 59: "God forbid that Achilles sees me turning tail,
Heading from town and out to open country -
He'll come after me full tilt and run me down!
And then no way to escape my death, my certain doom -
Achilles is far too strong for any man on earth.
Wait... what if I face him out before the walls?
Surely his body can be pierced by bronze, even his -
He has only one life, and people say he's mortal:
It's only the son of Cronus handing him the glory." Book 21, lines 648-656
Quote 60: "As a snake in the hills, guarding his hole, awaits a man -
Bloated with poison, deadly hatred seething inside him,
Glances flashing fire as he coils around his lair..." Book 22, lines 111-113
Quote 61: "...don't talk to me of pacts.
There are no binding oaths between men and lions -
Wolves and lambs can enjoy no meeting of the minds -
They are all bent on hating each other to the death.
So with you and me. No love between us. No truce
Till one or the other falls and gluts with blood
Ares who hacks at men behind his rawhide shield." Book 22, lines 309-315
Quote 62: "I know you well - I see my fate before me.
Never a chance that I could win you over...
Iron inside your chest, that heart of yours.
But now beware, or my curse will draw god's wrath
Upon your head, that day when Paris and lord Apollo -
For all your fighting heart - destroy you at the Scaean gates!" Book 22, lines 419-424
Quote 63: "Sleeping Achilles? You've forgotten me, my friend.
You never neglected me in life, only now in death.
Bury me, quickly - let me pass the Gates of Hades.
They hold me off at a distance, all the souls,
The shades of the burnt out breathless dead,
Never to let me cross the river, mingle with them...
They leave me to wander up and down, abandoned, lost
At the house of death with the all-embracing gates." Book 23, lines 81-89
Quote 64: "You never forget my friendship, never miss a chance
To pay me the honor I deserve among our comrades.
For all that you have done for me Achilles,
May the immortals fill your cup with joy!" Book 23, lines 722-725
Quote 65: "Atrides - well we know how far you excel us all:
No one can match your strength at throwing spears,
You are the best by far!
Take first prize and return to your hollow ships
While we award this spear to Meriones.
If that you please your heart. That's what I propose." Book 23, lines 986-991
Quote 66: "But this Achilles - first he slaughters Hector,
He rips away the noble prince's life
Then lashes him to his chariot, drags him round
His beloved comrade's tomb. But why, I ask you?
What good will it do him? What honor will he gain?
Let that man beware, or great and glorious as he is,
We mighty gods will wheel on him in anger - look,
He outrages the senseless clay in all his fury!" Book 24, lines 58-65
Quote 67: "How long will you eat your heart out here in tears and torment?
All wiped from your mind, all thought of food and bed?
It's a welcome thing to make love to a woman...
You don't have long to live now, well I know:
Already I see them looming up beside you - death
And the strong force of fate..." Book 24, lines 156-161
Quote 68: "and straightaway the Father launched an eagle -
Truest of Zeus's signs that fly the skies
The dark marauder that mankind calls the Black-wing.
Broad as the door of a rich man's vaulted treasure chamber,
Well-fitted with sturdy bars, so broad each wind of the bird
Spread out on either side as it swept in through the city
Flashing clear on the right before the king and queen.
All looked up, overjoyed - the people's spirits lifted." Book 24, lines 373-381
Quote 69: "he gently moved him back. And overpowered by memory
Both men gave way to grief. Priam wept freely
For man - killing Hector, throbbing, crouching
Before Achilles' feet as Achilles wept himself,
Now for his father, now for Patroclus once again
And their sobbing rose and fell throughout the house." Book 24, lines 592-599
Quote 70: "But you, once he slashed away your life with his brazen spear
He dragged you time and again around his comrade's tomb.
Patroclus whom you killed - not that he brought Patroclus
Back to life by that. But I have you with me now...
Fresh as the morning dew you lie in the royal halls
Like one whom Apollo, lord of the silver bow,
Has approached and shot to death with gentle shafts." Book 24, lines 886-892