Funny / The Iliad

  • Early on in Book 2, before the enormous list of Greek fighters and ships, Agamemnon despairs at trying to get the Achaeans motivated to fight. In response, Athena comes down and gives Odysseus a pep talk. Afterwards, he promptly and unceremoniously takes Agamemnon's scepter out of his hands and runs around brow-beating and occasionally actually beating men who were turning from the fight. It all comes to a head when he takes the scepter and beats the crap out of the Argives' resident disfigured hunchback who was doing nothing but making jokes at the Argive leaders' expense. In fact, the narrative itself stops and mentions that the scene was so hilarious, the soldiers in-story were laughing raucously.
  • At one point early in the story Paris steps out among the Trojan soldiers, described as looking like a god, and dares any Greek soldier to come up and face him in battle. Menelaus steps forward to answer the call—and Paris promptly flees back behind his soldiers.
  • Menelaus beating Paris up with his bare hands, while the latter still has his sword.
  • When Hera seduces Zeus to distract him, he describes how attractive she is by comparing her with some of the other women he's slept with. It takes about 20 lines in the original Greek.
  • During the battle between the men and gods, Artemis gets beaten up by Hera with her own bow and literally runs away to her daddy Zeus.
  • Early on in the epic, King Priam calls to Helen to explain to him who is leading the Greek army - Agamemnon, Odysesseus, Menelaus, etc - because Priam doesn't know who they are. The Greeks have been at war with his kingdom for nine years before this point.