Iliad Book 11 Summary and Analysis

Homer

Book 11 Summary and Analysis

New Characters
Machaon: wounded Achaian carried out of battle by Nestor

Eurypylos: wounded Achaian who asks Patroklos to tend his wound

Summary
As dawn breaks, the Achaians and Trojans arm for battle. Both sides fight fiercely, and the Achaians successfully break the Trojan line, forcing the enemy all the way back to the city walls. Then, however, the Trojans rally and soon Agamemnon is hit in the arm with a spear. He fights for a while, but eventually gives in to his wound and leaves the field. Shortly thereafter, Antenor shoots Diomedes through the foot with an arrow and he too is out of the battle. Then Odysseus is stabbed through his shield, and he also retreats to the camp. Aias continues fighting bravely, holding back the Trojans almost single-handedly.

Meanwhile, Achilleus watches the action from the stern of his ship. He senses that the Achaians now sorely need him, and that they will be brought to their knees to beg him to return to the battle. When he sees Nestor taking a wounded man from the battle, he sends Patroklos to him for news. Patroklos reaches Nestor and is informed of the day’s events. Nestor begs Patroklos to use his influence on Achilleus to convince him to bring his fresh troops into the battle. He also suggests that if Achilleus will not go, he could send Patroklos with the Myrmidon army. Nestor points out that if Patroklos wears Achilleus’ great armor, the Trojans may mistake him for Achilleus and retreat to the city.

Patroklos is moved by Nestor’s speech and sets off to return to Achilleus. On the way he is met by...

(The entire section is 671 words.)