Illiad book 24. The Iliad Book 24 Summary & Analysis 2022-10-25
Illiad book 24 Rating:
Book 24 of the Iliad, also known as the "Funeral Games of Patroclus," is a fitting conclusion to the epic poem. It brings closure to the conflict between the Trojans and the Greeks and honors the fallen hero, Patroclus.
At the beginning of the book, the Trojans and Greeks agree to a temporary ceasefire in order to give Patroclus a proper burial. The body is cremated on a pyre, and Achilles, Patroclus' close friend and surrogate brother, leads the funeral rites. The gods also pay their respects, with Apollo singing a lament for the fallen hero.
After the funeral, the Trojans and Greeks hold a series of athletic games in Patroclus' honor. The games serve as a way for the two sides to come together and honor the dead, as well as a way for the heroes to show off their strength and skill. The contests include foot races, boxing, wrestling, and chariot racing.
One of the most notable events of the games is the chariot race, in which the Trojan prince, Aeneas, and the Greek hero, Diomedes, face off. Despite Aeneas' superior chariot and horses, Diomedes is able to win the race through his own skill and determination.
The funeral games also serve as a way for Achilles to honor Patroclus and atone for his own role in his friend's death. Throughout the Iliad, Achilles has been consumed by grief and anger over Patroclus' death, and the funeral games provide him with a sense of closure.
Overall, Book 24 of the Iliad is a poignant and fitting conclusion to the epic poem. It brings the Trojans and Greeks together in a moment of shared grief, and it serves as a way for the heroes to honor the fallen and move forward.
Homer, Iliad, Book 24
No longer then his fury if thou dread Detain the relics of great Hector dead; Nor vent on senseless earth thy vengeance vain, But yield to ransom, and restore the slain. Furthermore , I see nothing to prevent me from using Logos instead of Word , since the former is indeed more akin to Epos than the latter. Atrides, trembling, casts his eye below, And wonders at the rashness of his foe. Priam sets out in his wagon, accompanied by his old driver. Quarrel among the gods.
Then she sate her down beside father Zeus, and Athene gave place. And when they were assembled and met together, first they quenched with flaming wine all the pyre, so far as the fire's might had come upon it, and thereafter his brethren and his comrades gathered the white bones, mourning, and big tears flowed ever down their cheeks. Bear thou up, neither wail ever ceaselessly in thy heart; for naught wilt thou avail by grieving for thy son, neither wilt thou bring him back to life; ere that shalt thou suffer some other ill. Have ye no griefs at home, to fix ye there: Am I the only object of despair? Now shed Aurora round her saffron ray, Sprang through the gates of light, and gave the day: Charged with the mournful load, to Ilion go The sage and king, majestically slow. Count ye it not enough that Zeus, son of Cronos, hath brought this sorrow upon me, that I should lose my son the best of all? Thou knowest how we are pent within the city, and far is it to fetch wood from the mountain, and the Trojans are sore afraid.
With proper instruments they take the road, Axes to cut, and ropes to sling the load. Major Characters of the Book. In the middle of them all , Thetis was lamenting the fate of her fine son, who would die in fertile Troy, far from his home. But haste, and summon to our courts above The azure queen; let her persuasion move Her furious son from Priam to receive The proffer'd ransom, and the corse to leave. And all amidst them lay the hoary sire, Sad scene of woe! Part of the effect is certainly the shock of seeing the Trojan king at the door. People crowded round , all weeping.
Though he was a mortal, the gods gave him a goddess for a wife. Haste thee with all speed to the host and declare unto thy son my bidding. All Troy then moves to Priam's court again, A solemn, silent, melancholy train: Assembled there, from pious toil they rest, And sadly shared the last sepulchral feast. But thou, O generous youth! My own heart and spirit are urging me , in a strange and fearful way, to go there, to the ships and wide Achaean camp. Singly to pass through hosts of foes! Him now have ye not the heart to save, a corpse though he be, for his wife to look upon and his mother and his child, and his father Priam and his people, who would forthwith burn him in the fire and pay him funeral rites. A melancholy choir attend around, With plaintive sighs, and music's solemn sound: Alternately they sing, alternate flow The obedient tears, melodious in their woe. And what his mercy, thy slain sons declare; So brave! An only son, once comfort of our pains, Sad product now of hapless love, remains! For if so be he get thee in his power and his eyes behold thee, so savage and faithless is the man, he will neither pity thee nor anywise have reverence.
Why teach ye not my rapid wheels to run, And speed my journey to redeem my son? What couldst thou hope, should these thy treasures view; These, who with endless hate thy race pursue? Some word thou would'st have spoke, which, sadly dear, My soul might keep, or utter with a tear; Which never, never could be lost in air, Fix'd in my heart, and oft repeated there! So they put forth their hands to the good cheer lying ready before them. On this wise held they funeral for horse-taming Hector. Herself a rock for such was heaven's high will Through deserts wild now pours a weeping rill; Where round the bed whence Achelous springs, The watery fairies dance in mazy rings; There high on Sipylus's shaggy brow, She stands, her own sad monument of woe; The rock for ever lasts, the tears for ever flow. Fortune denies, but justice bids us pay Since great Tydides bears the first away To him the second honours of the day. Both men are moved to tears, and Achilles agrees to give up the body. Now fearless enter, and prefer thy prayers; Adjure him by his father's silver hairs, His son, his mother! Thus gazing long, the silence neither broke, A solemn scene! He handles his revenge exactly the way he handled his anger with Agamemnon.
And can ye still his cold remains pursue? And when they had stepped forth upon the beach they sped unto heaven; and they found the son of Cronos, whose voice is borne afar, and around him sat gathered together all the other blessed gods that are for ever. The time of twelve days is employed in this book, while the body of Hector lies in the tent of Achilles; and as many more are spent in the truce allowed for his interment. No other Trojan man is to accompany him. Priam finds Achilles at his table, casts himself at his feet, and begs for the body of his son: Achilles, moved with compassion, grants his request, detains him one night in his tent, and the next morning sends him home with the body: the Trojans run out to meet him. Amid the circle now each champion stands, And poises high in air his iron hands; With clashing gauntlets now they fiercely close, Their crackling jaws re-echo to the blows, And painful sweat from all their members flows. Wide as is the door of some rich man's high-roofed treasure-chamber, a door well fitted with bolts, even so wide spread his wings to this side and to that; and he appeared to them on the right, darting across the city.
A herald may attend thee, an elder man, to guide the mules and the light-running waggon, and to carry back to the city the dead, even him that Achilles slew. I see your blood the fields of Phrygia drown, I see the ruins of your smoking town! In this book ends the thirtieth day. For even the fair-haired Niobe bethought her of meat, albeit twelve children perished in her halls, six daughters and six lusty sons. Now from the finish'd games the Grecian band Seek their black ships, and clear the crowded strand, All stretch'd at ease the genial banquet share, And pleasing slumbers quiet all their care. Distressful beauty melts each stander—by.
So the twain bethought them of their dead, and wept; the one for man-slaying Hector wept sore, the while he grovelled at Achilles' feet, but Achilles wept for his own father, and now again for Patroclus; and the sound of their moaning went up through the house. Before that, our city will all be destroyed. Hector is but mortal and was suckled at a woman's breast, but Achilles is the child of a goddess that I mine own self fostered and reared, and gave to a warrior to be his wife, even to Peleus, who was heartily dear to the immortals. We hear that you were fortunate in former times. Thus gazing long, the silence neither broke, A solemn scene! Their conversation on the way.
Him too thy rage has slain! Still Achilles kept dishonouring godlike Hector. Now forward fares the father on his way, Through the lone fields, and back to Ilion they. To watch this quarter, my adventure falls: For with the morn the Greeks attack your walls; Sleepless they sit, impatient to engage, And scarce their rulers check their martial rage. The most unwise Will learn their rashness, when they pay the price. He must go alone. Now forward fares the father on his way, Through the lone fields, and back to Ilion they. What must be, must be.