Character list for Homer's "The Iliad"

Essay by defacto301High School, 10th gradeA+, March 2006

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King Priam of Troy

"Armed with good-ashen spear"

The wise king Priam, the father of Paris and Hector, condones Paris' theft of Helen after he saw the magnitude of her beauty. By giving safe haven to Paris and Helen, Priam prevented peace from being made.

King Menelaus of Sparta


Paris steals Helen from Menelaus, and he subsequently galvanizes all of Greece to unite behind him to reclaim Helen. Menelaus fiercely fights Paris, yet fails to kill him because Aphrodite pulls a deus ex machina to save him. It should be noted that Menelaus is similar to Paris and a foil to Agamemnon because he is a timid, non-masculine character.

King Agamemnon of Mycenae

"Lord of men"

King Agamemnon's baneful actions of upsetting Achilles for taking his maiden become the cause of heavy Greek casualties. After having finally stopped acting like a buffoon, Agamemnon gave in and returned Briseis to Achilles in hopes of changing the course of war.

Agamemnon is similar to Hector in that he is reluctantly pulled into his brother's war.

Achilles, leader of the Myrmidons


Achilles, the leader of the fierce Myrmidons, eventually refuses to fight for the disgraceful Greek generals after being offended by Agamemnon. Yet, Achilles eventually fights again and is inexorably determined to claim Hector's life after the death of Patroclus.

Ares, god of War

"The curse of men"

Ares, the most disliked of the entire Olympian pantheon, barbarously fights for Hector. Eventually, the self-conscious god of war is sent home crying by Diomedes and leaves Hector vulnerable to attack.

Diomedes, the god-smiter

"Master of the war cry"

Imbued with a gift to attack the divine, Diomedes proves himself to be Greece's most courageous warrior by attacking two Olympians. First, Diomedes cut the hand of Aphrodite as she attempts to help...