Book 1 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Where are the Achaians at the opening of the epic?

2. Why did Apollo send “deadly arrows” against the Achaians?

3. Whose advice do the Achaians seek to stop the bloodshed?

4. What do the Achaians do to stop Apollo’s assault?

5. What does Agamemnon do to Achilleus that causes his great anger?

6. What is Achilleus’ plan for revenge?

7. Why does Thetis agree to help Achilleus?

8. Who takes Chryseis back to Thebe, and what happens when he gets there?

9. Why is Hera unhappy that Zeus agrees to help Achilles?

10. Who pleads with Hera to make peace with Zeus, and why?

1. The Achaians are in Troy.

2. The Achaians refused to return Chryseis to her father, who is a priest of Apollo.

3. The Achaians seek the advice of Kalchas, a seer.

4. The Achaians return Chryseis to Thebe.

5. Agamemnon takes Achilleus’ war prize, Briseis.

6. Achilleus plans for the gods to assist Troy in their fight against the Achaians.

7. Thetis is Achilleus’ mother. She also knows that Achilleus’ fate is to die young.

8. Odysseus takes Chryseis back to Thebe, and everyone celebrates with a feast.

9. Hera thinks it unfair that many of the Achaians must die to revenge Achilleus. She also despises the Trojans and does not want them to win the war.

10. Hera’s son, Hephaistos, pleads with his mother to make peace with Zeus so as not to spoil their great feast.

Book 2 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How does Zeus convey his message to Agamemnon?

2. What is Zeus’ message, and can it be trusted?

3. How does Agamemnon test the warriors?

4. Do the warriors pass the test?

5. Which goddesses help to turn the army back to the fight?

6. What is the sign that Odysseus takes as proof of impending victory?

7. Who is the one warrior who refuses to listen to Odysseus, and what is his argument?

8. How does Odysseus react to Thersites?

9. Why does the narrator include a list of the armies with their leaders and ships?

10. How do the Trojans find out about the Achaian attack?

1. Zeus sends Dream in the form of Nestor to convey his message to Agamemnon.

2. Zeus tells Agamemnon that the Achaians will be victorious against the Trojans. His advice cannot be trusted, because Zeus is helping Achilleus get revenge against Agamemnon.

3. Agamemnon tests the warriors by telling them to give up and go back home.

4. The warriors fail the test, jumping immediately at the opportunity to go home.

5. Hera sends Athene down among the troops to encourage them to fight.

6. The sign Odysseus uses to convince the armies is that of a snake devouring eight baby sparrows and their mother, and then being turned to stone. He tells them this indicates nine years of fighting and then victory.

7. The warrior who dissents is Thersites, and he argues that Agamemnon is fighting only for selfish reasons of personal glory.

8. Odysseus rebukes Thersites verbally, and then beats him with Agamemnon’s scepter.

9. The catalog of armies is given to impress the listener with the size of the forces, and also to give some background information on the leaders.

10. Zeus sends the goddess Iris to the Trojans to warn them of the Achaian attack.

Book 3 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How do the Trojans feel about Paris, and why?

2. What incident in this chapter shows us this feeling?

3. Who reprimands Paris for his behavior?

4. What does Paris eventually agree to do?

5. Where is the duel fought?

6. Who has the upper hand in the fighting?

7. How does the duel end?

8. Who is declared the winner?

9. Is Helen happy to see Paris returned to his room?

10. What does the duel between Paris and Menelaos

1. The Trojans despise Paris because he is directly responsible for the war with the Achaians. He is also a coward who refuses to do his share of the fighting.

2. Paris challenges the best of the Achaian men to a duel, but then backs away in fear when Menelaos accepts it. Also, after he disappears we are told that no one among the Trojans would hide him.

3. Paris’ brother Hektor chides him for his behavior.

4. Paris agrees to fight a duel with Hektor to decide the fate of Helen, leaving the rest of the armies out of it.

5. The duel is fought in a large clearing between the two armies.

6. Menelaos is the better fighter.

7. The duel ends when Menelaos has clearly established the upper hand, but before he can finish Paris off, Aphrodite spirits the Trojan away.

8. Agamemnon declares Menelaos the winner, since he was clearly the better fighter.

9. Helen is not happy to see Paris alive, and goes to him only when forced by Aphrodite to do so.

10. The duel is a symbol of the larger conflict between the Achaians and the Trojans.

Books 4 and 5 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Who decides to break the truce between the Trojans and Achaians?

2. How is the truce broken?

3. Who is the main character portrayed in Book Five?

4. What name has been given to this book?

5. Who appears to Diomedes when he is injured by Pandaros?

6. What two things does Athene give to Diomedes?

7. What instruction goes with these gifts?

8. What is the exception to this rule, and why?

9. How is Diomedes like Achilleus?

10. How is he different?

1. The gods decide to break the truce at the urging of Hera and Athene.

2. Athene convinces Pandaros to gain glory by shooting Menelaos, which he does.

3. Diomedes is the main character in Book five.

4. This book has been called the “Diomedia.”

5. Athene appears to Diomedes when he is injured.

6. Athene gives Diomedes strength for the battle and the ability to distinguish gods from men.

7. Diomedes is instructed never to engage a god in battle.

8. Diomedes is allowed to confront Aphrodite, because she has no place on the battlefield.

9. Like Achilleus, Diomedes is favored by the gods, strong in battle and a leader.

10. Unlike Achilleus, Diomedes is in control of his emotions and defers to his leaders.

Book 6 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Does Menelaos wish to kill Adrestos?

2. What ends up happening to Adrestos?

3. What is Nestor’s advice to the Achaians?

4. Why does Hektor return to the city?

5. What do Diomedes and Glaukos discovcr about each other as they introduce themselves?

6. What do they do after making this discovery?

7. What do they do to symbolize this?

8. Where does Hektor find Paris, and how does he react?

9. Why does Andromache plead with Hektor not to return to battle?

10. Does Hektor believe the Trojans will defeat the Achaians?

1. Menelaos has pity on Adrestos and does not wish to kill him.

2. Adrestos is killed coldly by Agamemnon.

3. Nestor advises the Achaians to attack the Trojans without stopping to take the spoils.

4. Hektor returns to the city to gather the women together to sacrifice to Athene.

5. They discover that there was a bond of friendship between their grandparents.

6. They make a pact not to harm one another in battle.

7. Armor is exchanged to symbolize the bond of friendship.

8. Hektor finds Paris at home with the women of his household. He gives Paris a lecture about his failure to face his responsibilities.

9. Andromache has lost her father and brothers already in the battle, and does not wish to lose her husband as well. She also fears for their young son Astyanax.

10. Hektor knows in his heart that the Trojans will be defeated.

Book 7 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Whose idea is it to call a truce and have Hektor challenge an Achaian to a duel, and why?

2. Who first accepts Hektor’s challenge?

3. Does he fight Hektor? Why?

4. Who volunteers next and why?

5. How is the man to fight Hektor finally chosen, and who is it?

6. Who is the stronger fighter in the duel?

7. How does the duel end?

8. What do both sides request after counsel that evening?

9. Why is it important to the warriors to bury their dead?

10. What do the Achaians do during the truce?

1. Athene and Apollo decide to have Hektor offer a duel in order to give the other warriors a break from the fighting.

2. While no one at first volunteers to fight Hektor, Menelaos finally comes forward.

3. Menelaos does not fight Hektor because his companions know he is not strong enough to stand up to the Trojan.

4. Nine of the best Achaians step forward after an inspiring speech by Nestor.

5. Aias is chosen by casting lots.

6. Hektor and Aias are equally matched in the duel and neither has the advantage.

7. The duel ends when it grows dark and a herald from each side parts the fighters.

8. Both sides request a truce to bury their dead.

9. The warriors wish to bury the dead so that their souls will be allowed peaceful entry into the Underworld and so that the bodies will not be defiled on the field.

10. During the truce, the Achaians burn their dead, hold a funeral feast, and build a great wall surrounded by a ditch to hold back the Trojans.

Book 8 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Zeus warn the gods to stay out of the conflict?

2. Where does Zeus go to watch the battle?

3. What sign are we given that the Trojans will come out ahead in this day’s fighting?

4. Who does Hera ask to help her intervene for the Achaians?

5. What is his answer?

6. What omen does Zeus send to Agamemnon to let him know all will be well?

7. Which two goddesses attempt to ride into the battle to help the Achaians?

8. Are they successful?

9. Where are the two armies at the close of this day’s fighting?

10. Why does Hektor choose to camp where he does?


(The entire section is 260 words.)

Book 9 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What plan does Agamemnon suggest as the book opens?

2. Who dissuades him and why?

3. What is Nestor’s advice to Agamemnon?

4. What does Agamemnon offer to give Achilleus?

5. Who is sent to bring the message to Achilleus?

6. How are the messengers received?

7. Does Achilleus accept Agamemnon’s offer?

8. Why does Achilleus act as he does?

9. What is the Achaian reaction to Achilleus’ answer?

10. What is Diomedes’ response?

1. Agamemnon suggests that the Achaians escape in their ships and sail home.

2. Diomedes dissuades him,...

(The entire section is 217 words.)

Book 10 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Who is the first to volunteer for the spy mission into the Trojan camp?

2. Who does he choose to go with him, and why?

3. What do the Achaians hope to gain by the mission?

4. Who is sent on a similar mission for the Trojans?

5. What are his motivations?

6. Who catches whom spying?

7. What do they learn?

8. Which unit of Trojan fighters are Diomedes and Odysseus most interested in?

9. What becomes of Dolon?

10. Who is later killed and what is taken?

1. Diomedes is the first to volunteer to spy on the Trojans.

2. Diomedes chooses...

(The entire section is 234 words.)

Book 11 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Which of the great Achaian fighters are wounded in this chapter?

2. Who is the only great fighter left fighting?

3. Where is Achilleus as he watches the action?

4. What is Achilleus’ attitude toward the events taking place?

5. What prompts Achilleus to desire news of the battle?

6. How does Achilleus decide to obtain this information?

7. What does Nestor ask Patroklos to do?

8. What is Nestor’s alternate plan?

9. Why does he think this alternate plan will work?

10. What stops Patroklos from returning directly to Achilleus?

1. Agamemnon,...

(The entire section is 245 words.)

Books 12 and 13 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What information do we learn in Book Twelve about the war’s outcome?

2. What initial difficulty do the Trojans face in storming the Achaian wall?

3. What do they decide to do about it?

4. What omen do the Trojan’s see as they prepare to assault the wall?

5. How does Poulydamas interpret the sign, and what is his advice to Hektor?

6. What does Hektor decide to do?

7. Are the Trojans successful in breaking through the wall?

8. Which god comes to the aid of the Achaians?

9. How does he avoid being noticed by Zeus?

10. Why doesn’t he stand up to Zeus?


(The entire section is 271 words.)

Books 14 and 15 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What is Agamemnon’s plan of action at the beginning of Book Fourteen?

2. Who dissuades him from this action?

3. What does Diomedes suggest they do instead?

4. Why does Hera decide to seduce Zeus?

5. What aid does Aphrodite lend her?

6. Who else assists Hera?

7. How does Hera convince him to help her with her plan?

8. How successful is Hera’s plan?

9. Who injures Hektor, and how badly is he injured?

10. What happens when Zeus awakens?

1. Agamemnon, sure of defeat, advises escaping in the ships.

2. Odysseus rather forcefully...

(The entire section is 233 words.)

Books 16 and 17 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Does Achilleus agree to end his grudge against Agamemnon at the request of Patroklos? Why?

2. What does Achilleus agree to do?

3. What are Achilleus’ instructions to Patroklos?

4. Why does he tell Patroklos to limit his efforts?

5. What event makes Achilleus hurry Patroklos on his way?

6. What happens when the Trojans see Patroklos and the Myrmidon army approaching?

7. Who intervenes when Patroklos is on the verge of taking the city?

8. Who finally kills Patroklos?

9. Why is there such fierce fighting over the body of Patroklos?

10. How do Achilleus’ horses react to the death of...

(The entire section is 232 words.)

Book 18 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How does Achilleus react to the news of the death of Patroklos?

2. Who hears Achilleus’ tortured cry of grief?

3. What does Thetis tell Achilleus about his fate?

4. What is Achilleus’ response to this revelation?

5. What stops Achilleus from going out immediately to fight Hektor?

6. What is Thetis’ solution to this problem?

7. What does Hera instruct Achilleus to do for the Achaians in the meantime?

8. How can Achilleus do this without any armor?

9. What are the Achaians able to do as a result?

10. What does Poulydamas advise Hektor to do, and what is his response?


(The entire section is 252 words.)

Book 19 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Achilleus reconcile with Agamemnon?

2. What does Agamemnon offer Achilleus?

3. What does Agamemnon want to do after the reconciliation?

4. What does Achilleus want to do?

5. What does Achilleus say he will not do until Hektor is killed?

6. What do the Achaians decide to do next?

7. How does Achilleus obtain strength for the battle?

8. Whom does Achilleus chastise for their role in the death of Patroklos?

9. What is the response?

10. What is said that angers Achilleus?

1. Achilleus reconciles with Agamemnon because he is intent on...

(The entire section is 218 words.)

Books 20 and 21 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Zeus reverse his previous warning and invite the gods to intervene?

2. What is the outcome of the duel between Aineias and Achilleus?

3. Why does Poseidon act in this way?

4. What warning does Apollo give Hektor regarding Achilleus?

5. Does he act accordingly?

6. How does Hektor survive the duel?

7. Why does Achilleus take 12 young Trojan warriors as prisoners?

8. What is the river’s reaction to all the Trojans killed in its waters?

9. How does Achilleus escape?

10. What is the outcome of the duel between Agenor and Achilleus?


(The entire section is 244 words.)

Book 22 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What are Hektor’s options as Achilleus approaches the gates of Troy?

2. Which option does he choose?

3. Who tries to dissuade him?

4. What does Hektor do as he sees Achilleus approaching?

5. Who intervenes?

6. How does she cause Hektor to stand up to fight Achilleus?

7. What promise does Hektor make to Achilleus?

8. Does Achilleus promise the same?

9. What does Hektor ask as he dies?

10. What happens to Hektor’s body?

1. Hektor can escape behind the walls of the city, face Achilleus unarmed while offering gifts, or stand up to fight him....

(The entire section is 218 words.)

Book 23 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What do the Myrmidons do after returning to their camp?

2. Who appears to Achilleus in his dream?

3. What is his message?

4. What does Patroklos request that Achilleus do with his bones?

5. Why does Achilleus cut off his hair?

6. What is the significance of the act?

7. What is burned on the pyre with Patroklos?

8. Why are these items added to the pyre?

9. Why has Hektor’s body not disintegrated under the harsh treatment of Achilleus?

10. Why does Achilleus hold the funeral games?

1. They ride around the funeral pyre three times, defiling...

(The entire section is 239 words.)

Book 24 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Achilleus do each night to the body of Hektor?

2. Why does he anger the gods?

3. Who do the gods send as a messenger to Achilleus, and what is the message?

4. What does Priam bring to Achilleus?

5. How does Priam move safely through the Achaian camp to Achilleus?

6. What does Priam talk about that moves Achilleus to tears?

7. What is the climactic scene of the Iliad?

8. What do the two men agree to do about the fighting?

9. What kind of burial is given to Hektor?

10. Why does the Iliad end with the burial of Hektor?


(The entire section is 264 words.)