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->"Μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
->οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾿ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾿ ἔθηκε"
->(Sing, Muse, of the wrath of Achilles, son of Peleus, the accursed anger which brought countless pains to the Achaeans)
-->-- '''Homer''', ''The Iliad'', Bk.I:1-2.

''The Iliad'' (Greek: ''Ιλιάς'') is an epic poem from the Literature/TrojanCycle describing a few months in the ninth year of UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar, a siege of the great city of Troy by an alliance of Greek city-states. It is considered one of the cornerstones of Western literature and attributed to Creator/{{Homer}}. ''The Iliad'' is one of the [[OlderThanFeudalism oldest works of literature]] to survive intact.

The main plot concerns Achilles, the invaders' strongest soldier. Achilles, according to prophecy, has a choice: either die an untimely death that ensures his legend lives forever, or retire to a [[IJustWantToBeNormal life of normality]] and obscurity. After a falling-out with King Agamemnon, Achilles [[AchillesInHisTent withdraws from the war]], tempted by the second option. In his absence, the fortunes of battle begin to swing the Trojan way. Achilles eventually, of course, chooses glory... ''[[RoaringRampageOfRevenge after]]'' [[ItsPersonal the death of his friend Patroclus]].

Within this narrative framework, the poem gives an incredibly detailed and engaging snapshot of the war, from the battles themselves to the personalities of the elites and the political machinations of the gods; both prophecy and free will are strong forces. Crossover characters from other Greek myths are a bonus for the dedicated fan.

For more details, and the even more famous [[Literature/TheOdyssey sequel]], see Creator/{{Homer}}. For the 2004 film adaptation, see ''Film/{{Troy}}''.

!!Is the TropeNamer for:
* AchillesInHisTent
----
!!''The Iliad'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AchillesInHisTent: Achilles refuses to come out and fight due to a squabble with Agamemnon.
%%* AloneInACrowd: Helen, so much. It's even worse when you remember that city-states had '''''tens''' of thousands'' of people in them.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Achilles and Patroclus. While not explicitly[[note]]During the Byzantine times, the Iliad went under at least attempts to make Achilles 'less gay', such as cutting off the scene where Achilles tells Patroclus that he wants them to be the only people alive in the world, or adding "just like nature intended" when they sleep next to their concubines[[/note]] described as gay lovers in the text itself, their love was taken for granted by the time of Plato's ''Symposium''.[[note]]Yes, Plato was writing in a more homonormative culture; but "ambiguously gay" does not mean "gay", merely that the relationship could be interpreted as such, and theirs definitely has been.[[/note]]
* AmbiguouslyBi: On the other hand, Achilles is the father of Pyrrhus with Deidamie and both he and Patroclus enjoy sex with Lesbian slaves ([[HaveAGayOldTime as in native from Lesbos]]) in one scene.
* AnAesop:
** Solve conflicts through words and compromise, not violence or insult. Becomes more obvious in the penultimate book where we see several altercations (e.g. Ajax vs. Idomeneus, Antilochus vs. Achilles, Antilochus vs. Menelaus) over prizes in the Funeral Games that mirror Achilles and Agamemnon's initial argument but are settled peaceably. While this may seem something of a BrokenAesop as the setting is an enormous war, it's worth noting that if the Trojans had returned Helen and apologized at the beginning, they probably wouldn't have gotten their whole city destroyed.
** Welcome counsel. Whenever characters refuse advice (which is ''often'') it never ends well.
** DisproportionateRetribution is only for the JerkassGods. Human beings must not engage in it, because [[TheHecateSisters The Moirae]] gave [[HumansAreSpecial humans a patient heart, capable of enduring all the pain]]. Indeed, Achilles wrath is only explainable because [[HalfHumanHybrid he was the son of a goddess.]]
* AntiHero: At the time of the tale's origin, Achilles was definitely ''not'' an antihero, but due to ValuesDissonance, many readers see Achilles as a colossal JerkAss and are more sympathetic to Hector, who is not a nice guy either.
* ArmorIsUseless: Played with. Oddly enough, whether a warrior's armor protects him or not depends on how much PlotArmor he has; in a sense, the real armor is used as a {{Handwave}} for Plot Armor.
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: If Achilles is so {{badass}}, why is Agamemnon in charge? He has the most ships, by ten. Admittedly, the entire fleet was put together to bring Helen back to her husband, Agamemnon's brother.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: All the heroes are nobles, and the battles are all decided by how well they fight each other.
* BadAss:
** For the humans, there is Achilles, [[Literature/TheAeneid Aeneas]], [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Agamemnon]], [[TheBigGuy Ajax]], [[OneSteveLimit the other Ajax]], [[BadassNormal Diomedes]], Glaucus, [[BadassGrandpa Nestor]], [[TheRival Hector]], Patroclus, [[GeniusBruiser Odysseus]], Sarpedon, Menelaus... [[WorldOfBadass EVERYONE, in fact]]. Except [[DirtyCoward for]] [[TheLoad Paris]].
** For the goddesses, there's Hera and Athena.
* BadassBoast: Practically half the book is composed of lengthy exchanges of these. Diomedes delivers a pretty spectacular one in Book Six: "Who are you, my fine friend? - another born to die? I've never noticed you on the lines where we win glory, not till now. But here you come, charging out in front of all the rest with such bravado, daring to face the flying shadow of my spear. Pity those whose sons stand up to me in war! ...If you're a man who eats the crops of the earth, a mortal born for death - here, come closer, the sooner you will meet your day to die!"
* BashBrothers: Greater Ajax and his [[SiblingTeam illegitimate brother]] Teucer. Typically the latter will hide behind Ajax's shield and fire over it, providing long-range support, while Ajax handles the melee. It's rather heartwarming when you realise that, despite Teucer's bastard status, the two of them are very close.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Achilles asks Zeus to help the Trojans punish the Greeks, which ends in his friend Patroclus' death fighting the empowered Trojans.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo:
** The prophecy that the newborn Alexandros/Paris would grow up to bring doom to Troy. Thus, UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar and everything connected with it worked out that way because of destiny.
** Additionally, there were several ways to save Troy. Various prophecies stated that if so and so was alive on the Trojan side, or so and so did not fight on the Greek side, then Troy would never fall. Needless to say the Greeks took care of all of those.
* TheBerserker:
** Achilles and, to the surprise of anyone familiar with the various adaptations, Agamemnon. Seriously, read his rampage in Book 11. It screams UnstoppableRage.
** Diomedes goes pretty berserk in Book 5, taking Aeneas, Aphrodite, and Ares, the god of war himself, out of battle. Not even the gods can rein him in. He had some help from Athena, though.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Agamemnon, elder brother to Menelaus, leads the forces to win back his brother's wife.
* TheBigGuy: Ajax Telamonean, who is called Greater Ajax for a reason. He's the biggest soldier among the Greek forces and judged second only to Achilles in fighting strength. Sarpedon seems to play a similar role on the Trojan side. Both are pretty decent guys.
* BlingOfWar: The armour and equipment Hephaistos makes for Achilles. Just the description of the shield is more than a hundred lines long.
* BondOneLiner: After spearing Cebriones and causing him to backflip out of his chariot, Patroclus remarks that he'd make a good oyster diver. This being ''The Iliad'', it's [[CharacterFilibuster a bit longer than one line.]]
* BookEnds: The ''Iliad'' begins and ends with an initially refused ransom that is eventually accepted.
* BoyMeetsGhoul: Achilleus meets Patroclos's ghost and wants to have sex with him. In other myths concerning the Trojan War he falls in love with the Amazon queen when he has just killed her.
* BrainsAndBrawn: [[TheRival Hector]] and [[TheStrategist Polydamas]], [[TheBigGuy Greater Ajax]] and Teucer, [[TheSmartGuy Odysseus]] and [[BadAss Diomedes]] in Book 10.
%%* BreakTheHaughty: Achilles. Agamemnon as well.
%%* ByronicHero: Achilles.
* CassandraTruth: Played straight with the actual Cassandra in the myth as a whole and Polydamas' advice in the actual book. This trope's notable subversion by the Greeks, either by accident or actually heeding the advice of their resident prophet Calchas is what leads to their victory.
* CentralTheme: Rage/Wrath. The whole story is about the violent rage of Achilles, but it is also worth noting that the vast majority of conflicts in the story are solved with violence and aggression, and that an equal number of problems are solved with peaceful debate and have no consequences.
* CharacterFilibuster: Goes with the territory for epic poetry, but often characters have [[TalkingIsAFreeAction huge monologues even in the middle of battles]]. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when both Odysseus and Menelaus ask, "Why am I talking to myself like this?" during their speeches.
* CombatByChampion: Menelaus vs. Paris, Hector vs. Ajax.
* CoolOldGuy: Nestor, the oldest soldier and the wisest of the Greeks. Still a badass and and excellent mentor, although suffering from a very bad case of CassandraTruth.
* CompleteImmortality: When Achilles tries to fight Apollo, Apollo taunts him by pointing out that as a god, he is fated to never die and therefore cannot be killed.
* CosmicPlaything: Everyone, but especially Hector. Eventually, battles come down to a sort of game of divine poker, with characters guessing which side has Zeus' favor every so often.
* DaddysGirl: When Hera beats up Artemis with her own bow, Artemis runs back crying all the way to her father Zeus' lap on Olympus.
* DeadPersonConversation: Achilles and Patroclus after the latter's death.
* DeadSidekick: Patroclus is Achilles' sidekick and gets killed, driving Achilles' actions thereon.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Can be seen as one of the first, given its emphasis on the stupidity of the heroic code, and the damage that it causes to those who try and live up to it.
* DescriptionPorn: In the chapter where Hephaestus makes Achilles a new suit of armor, roughly three-quarters of the chapter is devoted to detailed descriptions of the ornamental engravings on the shield. The rest of the armor is made in one page.
* DesecratingTheDead: Achilles slays the Trojan warrior Hector. After doing so, he ties Hector's body to the back of his chariot and races around the Trojan beach, proclaiming Greek superiority to Troy for twelve days and twelve nights. Achilles does this because ''Hector'' does it to Achilles's much-loved cousin and best friend Patrocles (well, Hector doesn't really desecrate Patroclus's corpse, he just ''intends'' to, and not in the exact same way that Achilles desecrated Hector's). The Trojans [[AchillesHeel do get their revenge]], and even the Gods themselves eventually get offended by Achilles's actions -- it is the involvement of the Gods that prevents Hector's corpse from being further mutilated, and the end of the Iliad involves Hector getting a proper burial by the Trojans.
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: Early on, Helen gives Aphrodite a piece of her mind. Aphrodite puts her in her place shortly afterward, but damn, girl!
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu:
** In books five and six, Diomedes goes on a god-stabbing rampage. First he slashes Aphrodite's arm when she tries to rescue Aeneas. Apollo picks up the baton and is forced to repel three attacks by Diomedes before using his divine don't-mess-with-the-gods voice to tell him to back off. The wounded Aphrodite meanwhile runs and tattles to her lover, Ares, the god of slaughter; he promptly arrives to lay down the law. Instead, he gets ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice by Diomedes's spear, causing him to howl in agony [[HellIsThatNoise "with the voices of a thousand men"]] and run to his daddy. Diomedes becomes the only mortal to injure two gods in a single day. Some scholars believes that this whole episode pre-dates ''The Iliad'', and Homer lumped it into his own epic.
** During his RoaringRampageOfRevenge, Achilles beats down the local river god while crossing it, but almost gets drowned in the process and has to be rescued by the god Hephaestus.
** And in this same scene, some random DualWielding Trojan becomes probably the first person in history to draw blood from Achilles.
** When Achilles is ready for his RoaringRampageOfRevenge, Zeus announces to the Gods that he must [[DivineIntervention personally intervene]] because Achilles is so angry that he will likely prove Fate wrong and conquer Troy on his own!
* DidYouJustScamCthulhu: Hera borrows Aphrodite's girdle to [[DistractedByTheSexy distract Zeus with sexy]]. This may be god on god, but Zeus, as king of the gods, can [[CurbStompBattle curb stomp]] anyone.
* DirtyCoward: Paris is given this characterization when he flees from the fight with Menelaus.
* DisposablePilot: Charioteers in this story tend to have the life expectancy of an asthmatic mayfly. Which makes Automedon holding his own in a fight against ''Hector'' of all people and ''surviving'' all the more BadAss. Then again, Automedon isn't just ''any'' charioteer, he's ''[[BadAss Achilles']]'' charioteer, so he's BadAss by association.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Done by Odysseus and Diomedes
* DualWielding: Several characters are mentioned to be holding two spears at once, or one spear and one sword.
* DueToTheDead: Proper respect towards corpses is very important in ''The Iliad''. Fights over corpses are common, with the fallen man's allies striving to give the corpse a proper burial and the enemy wanting to desecrate it. There are also occasional truces to allow both sides to recover their dead.
* ElCidPloy: Patroclus pulls one by dressing as Achilles while he's [[AchillesInHisTent In His Tent]]
%%* EmotionalBruiser: Hector.
* EpicCatalog: The most famous is the Catalogue of Ships in Book 2, some 250 lines just listing all the Greek commanders and how many ships each one brought from his domains.
* EyeScream: More than one character gets their eyes bashed out.
* FatalFlaw:
** Achilles' is his wrath and pettiness. It is so prevalent that he refuses Agamemnon's offer to return Briseis as a bribe to get Achilles to fight again. Even after he suffers the consequences of his action in Patroclus' death, he simply redirects his anger from Agamemnon to Hector, instead of realizing that Patroclus' death is primarily his fault and learning his lesson. His wrath does not abate until Priam makes him realize that Hector and Priam's situation is NotSoDifferent to Achilles and Peleus, and he is finally able to empathize with his enemy.
** Agamemnon's is his {{pride}}. His refusal to initially realize that his treatment of Achilles is unfair leads to his army's near defeat, although this consequence pales in comparison to Achilles' and Hector's. He does later realize the foolishness of this action, but never admits any blame or apologizes.
** Hector's is overconfidence and refusal to listen to advice. Unlike Achilles and Agamemnon, Hector finally realizes what his flaw is, but not until it's too late and his TragicMistake has already been made. Of the three, Hector experiences the worst consequences for his actions. Not only does his flaw inevitably lead to a terrible but also avoidable defeat of the Trojan army at the hands of Achilles, his attempt to redeem himself ultimately leads to his death, his body is desecrated, [[WatchingTroyBurn his city is burned]], [[InfantImmortality his newborn son]] [[SubvertedTrope thrown from the city walls]], and his wife becomes the SexSlave of his slayer's son.
** Averted with Diomedes, as he is said to be the perfect embodiment of a Greek Hero, without a fatal flaw. Although after the ''Iliad'' his wounding Aphrodite comes to bite him in the back.
* FinalSpeech: Sarpedon and Patroclus get these.
%%* TheFinalTemptation
* FlauntingYourFleets: It includes a hour-long-in-reading chapter made solely of the list of how many ships and men every allied Greek kingdom sends to Troy.
* ForegoneConclusion: Homer's audience would have been very familiar with the myths behind the story, and known how it all ended. The fact that the Trojans are doomed to lose is known even by Hector himself. Even if the audience doesn't know beforehand, Zeus explains midway through what's going to happen in the rest of the epic.
* ForgingScene: Thetis gets Hephaestus to forge armor for Achilles.
* GeniusBruiser: Most of the heroes would fall into this category by modern standards, as they're able to speak eloquently and have erudite conversations with each other despite being supreme badasses. The Greeks valued wit and intelligence as much as martial ability. However, the stand-out is obviously Odysseus, favored of Athena, who has the well-earned reputation as the most clever hero. Polydamas (as BadAss Hector's {{Foil}}) is also up there.
* GlorySeeker: Most of the named combatants seem to seek gaining lasting glory.
* GoodCopBadCop: Odysseus and Diomedes were on a night raid and captured the hapless but useful Dolon. Bad cop Diomedes says to stand still or die. Good cop Odysseus says, "''Fear not, let no thought of death be in your mind."'' It goes on like that for awhile until Diomedes "''struck him in the middle of his neck with his sword and cut through both sinews so that his head fell rolling in the dust while he was yet speaking."''
* {{Gorn}}: Homer gets pretty graphic with the carnage.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Very much so. While largely centering on the Greek point of view, the Trojans are also described largely as noble, especially Hector.
* HaveAGayOldTime: Amongst the gifts offered to Achilles to convince him to rejoin the battle are some Lesbian slaves (which is to say, women native to the island of Lesbos), which are described as "[[GirlOnGirlIsHot They whom all men lust after.]]" Hoo boy...
* HelloNurse: Helen of Troy.
* HeroAntagonist: Hector is in many ways far more noble than Achilles. Though that's not exactly difficult, and he's just as prone to kicking the dog.
* HeroicAmbidexterity: The Trojan [[BitCharacter Asteropaeus]] throws both his spears at once, "for both his arms were as his right", when he faces off against Achilles. One of the spears hits Achilles in the arm, making Asteropaeus the first Trojan to give Achilles a wound. Nevertheless Asteropaeus is slain in the ensuing sword-fight.
* HeroicBastard: A few of the heroes, including Teucer, are mentioned to be illegitimate of birth.
* HeroicBSOD: Achilles is so depressed after Patroclus' death, Patroclus' ghost has to come back to tell him to stop mourning and burn his corpse.
* HistoricalFantasy: Set during the Greek Bronze Age and although the actual date of composition was debated, it was ''at least'' a few hundred years later.
* HomoeroticSubtext: Depending on the translation, Achilles and Patroclus' relationship sometimes go beyond platonic. The Lombardo version is especially well known for this, and Achilles calls Patroclus "mine" and "my beloved several times".
* HopeSpot: The Trojans ''almost'' defeat the Greeks and burn the ships.
* HotBlooded: Achilles. Agamemnon as well.
* {{Hypocrite}}:
** What did the war start over? Paris taking Menelaus's woman. So why does Menelaus's brother think he can take Achilles's woman?
-->''Are the Atreidae of all mortal men\\
the only ones who love their wives? I think not.\\
Every sane decent fellow loves his own\\
and cares for her, as in my heart I loved\\
Briseis, though I won her by the spear.''
** Later on, Achilles himself suggests taking away the prize rightly won by Nestor's son in a chariot race. Now, you'd think if ''anyone'' knew what could go wrong when you took away a prize someone rightly won...
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: A ''lot'' of people. Including Ares.
* InMediasRes: The Roman Horace wrote the TropeNamer pointing out the fact that the Iliad starts in the middle of the war.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Achilles abandons his duties just because Agamemnon took him his captive Briseis. This is not because he cares about her as he already has other captives and still refuses to return when Agamemnom offer Briseis and many extensive gifts, this is just because Agamemnon hurt his pride. He goes as far to ask Zeus via his mother to [[DisproportionateRetribution favor the Trojans]].
* ItsAllMyFault: Achilles after Patroclus' death -- he's right.
* ItsPersonal: After Agamemnon dishonors him, Achilles doesn't care a fig about UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar until his buddy gets killed.
* JerkassGods: Humans are {{Cosmic Plaything}}s, but the Gods know that Troy will fall, because [[TheHecateSisters The Moirae]] ordained it. However, they are constantly quarreling between them trying to help his favorite side, to save / to kill his favorite / unfavorite warrior, manipulating and insulting each other, and making fun of humans. (Apollo fools Achilles to save many Trojan warriors, and then reveals himself and brags Achilles cannot do anything to him. Achilles curses him in vain, and goes to kill more Trojans). On numerous occasions various gods are shown not bothering to do the things which are basically their job to do until somebody bribes them with the promise of an expensive offering.
* KickTheDog: Hector's plan to chop Patroclus' body into pieces and display it from the walls of Troy.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Achilles' dragging of Hector's body behind his chariot becomes this, rather than a straight up KickTheDog, when you consider the above.
* LadyOfWar: Athena herself helps out the Greek side. [[ActionGirl Also beats up Ares in a duel]].
** Also Hera and to a lesser extent Artemis. Aphrodite, on the other hand, is shown to be a lover, not a fighter.
* TheLancer: Patroclus to Achilles, either Aeneas or Polydamas to Hector.
* LightningBruiser: Achilles is described as "fleet-footed" many times. Antilochus calls him the fastest of the Achaeans, though he might have just been buttering Achilles up for a reward, which he gets.
* LivingMacGuffin: The official objective of the Trojan War is to possess Helen of Troy.
* TheLoad: Paris may be the UrExample. Even the other Trojans think he's a philandering, cowardly jerk who's responsible for the war. His preferred weapon is a "cowardly bow." He is humiliated in his only proper fight, and relies on the Goddess of Love to get him out of trouble. When the armies gather for the duel between Paris and Menelaus, it is explicitly stated that, whether Greek or Trojan, ''everyone'' wants Paris dead. In one translation, he gets called a "desperate, womanizing pretty boy" by his BadAss older brother Hector, and a "sissy, curly-haired pimp of a bowman" by Diomedes. Even his father, Priam, calls him a "hero of the dance, light-fingered pillager of lambs and kids from the town pens", saying that he's a useless wimp. In part of the myth not covered in the ''Iliad'', he [[ForMassiveDamage gets one over]] Achilles by hitting his heel with his ''poisoned'' arrows. (Poison was not considered utterly dishonorable in this time period, but it wasn't exactly RatedMForManly, even if both Heracles and Philoctetes used arrows poisoned with the blood of the Hydra.)
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: And roughly 70% of them [[KillEmAll get killed off]] - within two paragraphs of being introduced.
* LockAndLoad: Arming scenes are everywhere. Even the ladies get in on it; for example, when Hera is dressing to seduce Zeus. Athena is described in loving detail slipping out of her dress and... donning armor for battle.
* LoverNotAFighter: Paris is known for stealing Helen and being a poor fighter.
* LudicrousGibs: Sometimes the deaths in ''Iliad'' are quite messy. Homer goes into loving detail about how each weapon is swung/thrown, how it flies through the air, who it hits, what part of their body it hits, how it penetrated their armor, which internal organs it damages, whether/how it exits their body, how long it takes them to die, how they die, and their comrades' reaction to their death. These details were essentially 'oral memorials' kept to commemorate the dead in a society where most of the populace were illiterate and the honored dead were cremated.
* MadeASlave: Hector foresees this fate for Andromache and all the women of Troy.
* ManlyTears: Many times. The most famous example being between Achilles and King Priam when Priam begs Achilles to return the body of his son Hector for burial. Priam's passion moves Achilles who begins thinking about his lost friend Patroclus and his own aged father back in Greece, who will soon lose his son; and the two men weep together over their loss.
* MeaningfulName:
** Agamemnon, "very steadfast".
** Priam(os), "exceptionally courageous", which he proves to be. Another etymology is "ransomed" which fits both with his own backstory and with his later actions in the ''Iliad''.
** Diomedes, "Cunning of God", which makes sense since he is the favored warrior of Athena and is an accomplice of Odysseus, as well as the one with most battle experience out of all the Greek Warriors, next to Nestor.
* MenDontCry: In spite of Greek culture not looking down on crying as unmanly, in book 16 the crabby Achilles asks Patroclus why he's crying, comparing him to a blubbering baby girl begging for her mama.
* MindScrew: The end of the second book is deemed as jarring by some as the [[{{Homer}} author]] starts to talk in the first person and invokes the Muses to aid his memory.
* MommasBoy:
%%** Achilles.
** When she gets her hand speared by Diomedes, Aphrodite proves herself to be quite the Momma's ''Girl''.
* TheMentor: The elderly Nestor tries to talk sense into Achilles.
* MoodDissonance: Quite a lot, to the modern mind at least. Poetic descriptions are interposed with nasty, detailed descriptions of what close combat death and wounds really look like. There is a famous scene when Andromake suggests that Hector fight from the relative safety of the walls instead, pointing out the she is a stranger in the city and neither she nor their son has anyone else to rely on if Hector dies. He declines, tries to hug his child, but the child is terrified not recognizing his father in the scary helmet. He takes off the helmet, and says something like: "Gods if I have ever pleased you, now hear my prayer: let my son grow up to be a great man so that the people say he is greater than his father." To the modern mind the continuation is a brutal dissonance to the previous cuteness and family values, to the Greeks it was probably natural. "And let him come home safely from combat with the bloody armor of his slain enemy as a spoil of vicotry and make his mummy glad." Hector does not mention himself in this wish for his son's future. He probably does not expect to live to see it.
* TheMuse: Homer invokes the Muse of Poetry, Calliope, several times to help him get things right.
* MyGirlIsNotASlut:
** Notably, despite the fact that she was taken as a war prize by Achilles, Agamemnon has to swear that he did not sleep with Briseis when giving her back to Achilles.
** In another [[UnwantedSpouse point]] [[TheLoad against]] him, Paris does ''not'' defend Helen when others accuse her of this. That's Hector's job. Or, it ''[[TearJerker was]]''.
* MyNameIsInigoMontoya: Warriors like to introduces themselves to their opponents.
%%* {{Narcissist}}: Achilles is a pretty textbook case.
* NarrativePoem: Not ''quite'' the UrExample...
* NietzscheWannabe: ''Achilles'', making this form of StrawNihilist OlderThanFeudalism. He gets an absolutely epic rant about how life and the heroic code are meaningless, and they're all going to die and be forgotten anyway. He goes so far as to wish everyone but himself and Patroclus dead.
* OffWithHisHead: A couple of people get beheaded. At least once, it's done with a ''stone''. In the entirety of Book 17 Hector tries to decapitate Patroclus' corpse.
* OhCrap: Every one of the Trojans does this when they see Achilles, including Hector. Every one of the Greeks does this when they see Hector except for Ajax, Patroclus, Automedon, Diomedes and Achilles.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted here as two of the Achaean leaders are named Ajax, or Aias (they even have a collective name-- the Aiantes-- which seems to be an example of ancient [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]]). In addition, one of the Ajaces' patronym is Oileades (son of Oileus) - and there's another soldier by that name briefly mentioned as well.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Helen of Troy, who got that name -- in the English-speaking world -- after being abducted by a Trojan prince. Almost nobody calls her "Helen of Sparta."
* OralTradition: Until it was written down, at least.
* PersonAsVerb: Apollo, while in the guise of one of Hector's friends, tries to rile him up by accusing him of being "in fight a [[TheChick Paris]]".
* PsychopathicManchild: All the characters have their moments actually, but Achilles really takes the cake (outside of the JerkassGods that is).
* RatedMForManly: This was a story by men, for men, about being manly men.
* ARealManIsAKiller: The men are all soldiers.
* RealMenEatMeat: Usually an ox or pig slaughtered for the purpose. With a detailed description of being cut up, put on skewers, and roasted.
* RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic: Though at least it is more realistic than dactylic hexameter!
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Hector's attempt to redeem himself from his mistake of waiting outside the Greek camp the night before Achilles returns to battle, leading to the death of countless Trojans, by facing Achilles in single combat.[[note]]In the end Hector didn't dare hold his ground and ran three times around the walls of Troy, pursued by Achilles. Hector was finally stopped by Athena who appeared to him in the guise of his brother Deiphobus. Believing that he had now a backup he faced Achilles. Alas, Athena was on the Greek side.[[/note]]
* RedShirtArmy: Hundreds die in the ''Iliad'', but only about four have any emotional import.
* RelativeButton: Hector does ''not'' take kindly to having two of his half-brothers killed.
* RetiredBadass: Nestor, who lectures the Achaeans about all the glory he had when he was young.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Achilles ''loses'' it when Patroclus bites the dust. A strong contender for the UrExample.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Most all the central warriors are either kings or princes.
* SacredHospitality: One of the more famous examples in literature. Paris steals Helen (and a lot of treasure) while he's a guest in her and Menelaus' home. While the act has plenty of political ramifications, it's the breach of hospitality that causes such an uproar, and is used to rouse the ''entire army of Greece'' [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill to sack Troy]] in response.
* SadlyMythtaken: ''The Iliad'' is an epic poem, not a myth. It also does not contain many well-known events in UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar, such as the Trojan Horse, the death of Achilles, the theft of the Palladium, the fall of Troy, etc. Some of these events are mentioned in the ''[[Literature/TheOdyssey Odyssey]]'', but we've lost the other epics from the Literature/TrojanCycle that actually deal with these episodes. Some colorful additions (like Achilles' AchillesHeel) come from sources ''much'' later.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: Early on, in preparation for an attack, Agamemnon tests the Greeks' fighting spirit by saying, in short, "We'll never take Troy; let's pack up and go home." The leaders then have to stop their troops from following through.
* SexyDiscretionShot: When Hera seduces Zeus, he creates a cloud for a little privacy.
* ShieldsAreUseless: Played with. Some spears actually not only penetrate shields, but also skewer their owners. On the other hand, Telamonian Ajax's 8-layered shield (7 ox-hides on a bronze base) and Achilles' 7-layered metal shield [[ForgedByTheGods Forged By Hephaestus]] are never penetrated in the epic.
* ShipperOnDeck: Agamemnon becomes exponentially funnier if you view him as a Helen/Menelaus shipper. It's not even inaccurate.
* ShortRangeGuyLongRangeGuy: An early version of this is the Greater Ajax and his illegitimate brother Teucer. Teucer is the Achean's best archer and is depicted hiding behind Ajax's shield picking off Trojans while Ajax is among the Achean's best in melee combat.
* ShutUpHannibal and/or ShutUpKirk: Several characters respond to their opponents' pre-duel {{Badass Boast}}s by telling them to shut up and hit someone. This being [[WallOfText Homer]], they [[HypocriticalHumour take several pages to say that]].
* TheSmartGuy: Odysseus (Greek), and Polydamas (Trojan) for their respective armies.
* SmiteMeOhMightySmiter
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: Helen is kidnapped and has a war waged over her for her beauty.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Achilles/Akhilleus, Patroclus/Patroklos, Hector/Hektor, Ajax/Aias, Helen/Helene, Teucer/Teukros. During the ages, the text has gone through editing, transliteration, translation, and adaptation for poetic purposes: it's not surprising that there are variants of the main characters' names. Romanized vs. original Greek names is a big contributor.
* TakeOurWordForIt: In all of Helen's appearances she is never given a full description. Homer uses the reactions of those around Helen to emphasize her beauty.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: Several characters give speeches in the middle of battle, both to the other men and the enemy. Patroclus both lampshades and plays this straight, when he points in the middle of battle that words are good for debate and not in war, and that in the time you'll give a nice speech a whole bunch of people will have probably died. In Book Sixteen he says, "Warfare's finality lies in the work of hands, that of words in counsel. It is not for us not to pile up talk, but to fight in battle."
* TalkingAnimal: In the end of Book Nineteen, Hera temporarily gives Achilles' horse, Xanthos, the power of speech for a few minutes.
* TextileWorkIsFeminine: Andromache is working on clothes for Hector when she hears of his death.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Idomeneus (King Of Crete) and his aide-de-camp, Meriones. They're practically joined at the hip. Still {{Badass}} though.
* TogetherInDeath: Patroclus's ghost asks for his bones to be mixed with Achilles after death.
* ATragedyOfImpulsiveness: Trope Codifier. The entire plot happens because people just don't stop to think before they act. Paris especially is guilty of this, and Homer all but mentions the trope by name in the first lines (see page quote).
* TragicBromance: Achilles and Patroclus.
* TragicHero: So many. Hector being probably the most outward example.
* TragicMistake: Hector waiting outside the Greek camp the night before Achilles returns to battle.
* TraumaticCSection: Agamemnon scolds his brother Menelaus for showing mercy to a Trojan:
-->'''Agamemnon''': Not a single one of them must escape sheer destruction at our hands. Not even if a mother carries one in her belly and he is male, not even he should escape.
* UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny: The story is largely a build-up to Hector v. Achilles.
* UnstoppableRage: Everybody, but most noticeably Achilles and Agamemnon, who seem to be at their best when enraged.
* UnusualEuphemism: Getting [[RapeAsDrama abducted]] in ancient Greece may be worse than it already sounds, since some believe that it is a synonym for rape. However, the truth is the other way around: "Rape" can mean "to steal" as well. Sexual rape was just something that happened to occur during or after an abduction (or as the point of one), but "sexual rape" and "abduction" are not in any way synonymous.
** Also, depending on the translation, book 14 is called "Hera [[IsThatWhatTheyreCallingItNow Outflanks]] Zeus".
* ViewersAreGoldfish: This was a common aspect of oral tradition at the time, partially because most epics would have to be recited over several days or more, meaning it was easy for people to forget things that had happened early in the story. It also helps in memorizing the story
** The dream Zeus sends Agamemnon in book 2 is written out no less than three times, and nearly word-for-word: when Zeus describes what it will be, when dream!Nestor relays this message, and when ''Agamemnon'' relays this message to the war council.
** The bribe for Achilles in Book Nine is repeated. That's two pages of walls of text there.
* WeAreAsMayflies: Homer returns to this idea repeatedly, expressing it through a metaphor likening human beings to leaves as autumn approaches.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: [[Literature/TheAeneid Aeneas]]. Just as Diomedes is about to kill him, the Gods save his life and declare that after the war, he shall be the leader of all future Trojans. He's rarely mentioned again, and then only in passing. 800 years later, Virgil decided to make this a BrickJoke.
* WhatTheHellHero:
** Patroclus calls Achilles out on his [[AchillesInHisTent stubborness]] over his wounded honor instead of fighting the Trojans.
** Paris is such a {{Jerkass}} that Helen doesn't mention him in any meaningful way over her ''half-page'' of grieving over Hector. She doesn't even name him as the only other person who's still nice to her--no, that goes to ''Priam''. [[SarcasmMode Nice work, Paris.]]
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: The Trojans could have just given Helen back to avoid total annihilation, but this would have made a lousy story. The Trojans are actually ready to do this after Menelaus beats Paris in their duel, but under Athena's influence an archer on the Trojan side shoots at Menelaus before the truce is ended, thereby restarting the war.
* WorldsMostBeautifulWoman: Helen, the TropeNamer (as well as the TropeCodifier).
* WorldOfBadass: Greece is full with heroes, each worth at least 100 common soldiers.
* YouCantFightFate: Troy was always going to fall.
* YouShouldKnowThisAlready: Not only is the epic thousands of years old, but Zeus himself spoils the story in-universe!
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