I know there have been many reviews of this epic poem, but this one is just my way of looking into it!
The plot is centered on the “rage of Achilles’ and the fulfillment of his glory on the battlefield. In today’s modern perspective, Hector is more honorable with his care and concern for his family and his city, although in the ancient Greek perspective, Achilles is more heroic.
The battle between Achaea and Troy, is also the battle between the Gods. Hera, Athena and Poseidon support the Achaeans, while Aphrodite, Ares and Apollo assist the Trojans. The Gods help represent the eternalness of nature and the human passions.
I liked the way the idea of fate is used to justify the actions in the book. It’s very similar to the ‘vidhi ka vidhan’ phrase used in Mahabharata. I would love to draw up a comparison between Iliad and Mahabharata.
The book establishes a relationship between war and peace, which is found in Book 18, when Hephaestus forges the new shield of Achilles. On the shield, there are two cities – one at war and one at peace. *I totally get symbolism…although, we did discuss these points in our group*
The poem’s battles are filled with descriptions of the deaths of soldiers. Homer provides a small story of the life or family history of the deceased. This shows the tragedy of how much those soldiers leave behind them. The death of Hector, Troy’s strongest warrior, signals the eventual destruction of Troy itself.
Love and friendship is another major theme in the poem. Homer has highlighted the friendship between soldiers, and more importantly the friendship between Achilles and Patroclus. Parental love has been thrown light upon – Thetis with her mortal child Achilles, or Hector with his wife and child.