Iliad book 2

The Iliad Book 2 Questions and Answers

Here we have provided The Iliad Book 2 Questions and Answers: SAQ and LAQ

Table of Contents


What is the setting of Book 2 of the “Iliad”?

A: Book 2 is set outside the walls of Troy, as the Trojans and their allies prepare for battle against the Greeks.

What is the significance of Agamemnon’s dream in the Iliad book 2?

Zeus sent Agamemnon a dream, indicating to him that he was not the ultimate leader and that Achilles deserved to lead. This was a way to bring order, by letting Agamemnon know that he was not the rightful leader.

What is Zeus’s message in book 2 of the Iliad?

In fulfilment of his promise to Thetis to aid the Trojans, Zeus deceives Agamemnon by sending him a false dream of victory. The dream fills Agamemnon with unwavering confidence that he can defeat the Trojans in battle the following morning.

Who is the central character of Book 2?

A: There is no central character, but the focus is on the preparations and movements of the Trojan army.

Who is Priam, and what is his role in Book 2?

A: Priam is the king of Troy and the father of Hector. In Book 2, he takes part in a council of Trojan leaders to discuss the war strategy.

Who is Hector, and what is his role in Book 2?

A: Hector is the greatest warrior among the Trojans, and he is responsible for leading their army in battle.

Who is Andromache, and what is her relationship to Hector in Book 2?

A: Andromache is Hector’s wife, and she is shown in Book 2 expressing her fears for Hector’s safety and the fate of their young son.

Who is Paris, and what is his role in Book 2?

A: Paris is the Trojan prince who abducted Helen and started the war. In Book 2, he challenges Menelaus, the Greek who had been Helen’s husband, to a duel to settle the conflict.

What is the role of the gods in Book 2?

A: The gods are shown taking sides in the conflict, with Athena encouraging the Greeks and Apollo helping the Trojans.

Who is Calchas, and what is his role in Book 2?

A: Calchas is a prophet who advises the Greek army, and he is shown in Book 2 interpreting an omen that signals their success in battle.

Who is Thersites, and what is his role in Book 2?

A: Thersites is a Greek soldier who speaks out against the leadership of Agamemnon and is ridiculed by the other soldiers for his ugliness and cowardice.

What is the significance of the assembly of troops in Book 2?

A: The assembly of troops serves to show the vast number of warriors on both sides of the conflict and the scale of the impending battle.

What is the tone of Book 2 of the “Iliad”?

A: The tone of Book 2 is more light-hearted and focused on the logistics and strategies of war, with moments of humour and satire mixed in.

What themes are introduced in Book 2 of the “Iliad”?

A: Themes of leadership, sacrifice, and the consequences of war are introduced in Book 2, as well as the contrast between individual honour and the larger political context of the conflict.

What is the importance of Thersites in Book 2 of The Iliad?

Thersites, in Book 2, voices the grievances of the common soldiers who have been at war for nine years. They are the ones who bear the brunt of the fighting, while commanders like Agamemnon remain safe. Thersites also echoes Achilles’s complaint that Agamemnon claims most of the honor by taking the best plunder despite not facing as many risks. However, Homer notes that Thersites often behaves dishonourably by disrespecting his superiors and advocating for retreat, which goes against the code of honour. The Greek word for shame, which is the opposite of honour, also connotes ugliness, and Thersites’s lack of honour is reflected in his unappealing appearance as the “ugliest man who ever came to Troy.”


Comment on epic simile used in Iliad book 2

In Book 2 of the Iliad, Homer uses an epic simile to describe the Achaean army as they prepare for battle. The simile compares the army to a swarm of bees. Homer writes:

“As when the countless tribes of long-winged birds, / Geese or cranes or swans, upon the Asian mead / By the streams of Caÿster wing their way to mid-air, / And with loud cries fly on, their necks outstretched, / And the air is filled with wings; so thickly crowded, / Many and brave, before Ilion marched the legions.” (Iliad, Book 2, lines 459-464)

In this simile, the Achaean army is compared to a flock of birds, specifically geese, cranes, or swans. The birds are described as flying through the air with their necks outstretched and making loud cries. Similarly, the Achaean army is described as marching towards Troy with bravery and in great numbers. The simile not only creates a vivid image for the reader but also emphasizes the strength and unity of the Achaean army.

Epic similes like this one are a common feature of the Iliad and are used to illustrate the characters and events in the poem. They often draw comparisons between something familiar, such as birds or animals, and something epic, like a battle or heroic feat. These similes add depth and complexity to the narrative and are a key aspect of the Iliad’s storytelling technique.

The role of God and goddess in Iliad Books 1 and 2

In the Iliad, gods and goddesses play a significant role in the narrative and have a direct impact on the events that unfold. In Book 1, the gods are depicted as sitting on Mount Olympus, watching the events of the Trojan War unfold below. They take sides and interfere in the affairs of mortals, often using their divine powers to influence the outcome of battles or to protect their favourite heroes.
Zeus, the king of the gods, plays a pivotal role in both Books 1 and 2. He is shown as weighing the fates of the Trojans and the Achaeans in his scales and ultimately decides to support the Trojans due to his agreement with the sea nymph Thetis, the mother of the Greek hero Achilles. Other gods, such as Hera and Athena, support the Achaeans and work to undermine Zeus’s efforts to help the Trojans.

The gods also play a role in the actions of individual mortals. In Book 1, Apollo, the god of archery and healing, sends a plague upon the Achaeans in revenge for Agamemnon’s refusal to return his priest’s daughter. In Book 2, Athena inspires the Trojan prince Hector to lead his troops in a charge against the Greeks, and Aphrodite rescues Paris from certain death at the hands of Menelaus.

Overall, the gods in the Iliad serve as a way of exploring the human condition through a lens of divine intervention. They are used to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of mortal characters, as well as to provide commentary on the larger themes of the poem, such as the nature of honour and the futility of war.

Discuss the character Agamemnon in Iliad books 1 and 2

Agamemnon is a major character in the Iliad and serves as the commander-in-chief of the Greek forces in the Trojan War. In Books 1 and 2 of the Iliad, Agamemnon’s character is portrayed as a proud and powerful king who is used to getting what he wants, but who is also prone to rash decisions and outbursts of anger.

In Book 1, Agamemnon is shown to be a man of great wealth and power, and his status as a king is emphasized by the lavish gifts he brings to the assembly. However, when Achilles challenges his authority by refusing to fight, Agamemnon’s pride is wounded, and he responds with anger and threats. He demands that Achilles give up his war prize, the captive Briseis, as a way of asserting his dominance over the other Greek warriors. Agamemnon’s actions in Book 1 are driven by his desire for honour and glory, but they also reveal his arrogance and lack of empathy for others.

In Book 2, Agamemnon’s character is further developed as he attempts to rally the Greek forces for battle. He is shown to be a skilled orator, able to inspire and motivate his troops, and he is also depicted as a clever strategist, capable of devising effective battle plans. However, his pride and impulsive nature continue to be his downfall. When he is insulted by the seer Calchas, who predicts that the Greek army will suffer a plague unless Agamemnon releases his captive, Agamemnon again responds with anger and threatens to kill Calchas. It is only with the intervention of Achilles that Calchas is saved, and the plague is lifted.

Overall, Agamemnon’s character in Books 1 and 2 of the Iliad is complex and multifaceted. He is a powerful and ambitious leader who is respected by his peers, but he is also prone to arrogance, pride, and rash decisions. His actions in these early books of the Iliad set the stage for much of the conflict and drama that will follow, as his feud with Achilles and his impulsive behaviour will have far-reaching consequences for the Greek forces and the outcome of the war.

Discuss the character Achilles in Iliad books 1 and 2.

In the Iliad, Achilles is one of the most important and complex characters, and his actions and motivations drive much of the plot. In Book 1, Achilles is introduced as a mighty warrior who has already established his reputation on the battlefield. However, he is also shown to be quick to anger and deeply resentful of any challenge to his honour.

In Book 2, Achilles’ anger is kindled when Agamemnon takes away his prize, the captured Trojan woman Briseis, in order to compensate for his own loss of a prize, Chryseis, who he had been forced to return to her father, a priest of Apollo. Achilles feels that Agamemnon is dishonouring him by taking away his prize, which he sees as a reflection of his own prowess as a warrior. He, therefore, withdraws from the fighting, refusing to lead his troops into battle and even praying to his mother Thetis to convince Zeus to aid the Trojans and punish the Greeks.

Achilles’ actions in Books 1 and 2 reveal his deep-seated desire for honour and recognition, as well as his fierce sense of pride and wounded ego when he feels that his honour has been challenged. His decision to withdraw from the fighting is not just an expression of his anger towards Agamemnon, but also a strategic move to force the Greeks to recognize his importance and value to the war effort.

Overall, Achilles is a complex and multifaceted character whose actions and motivations are driven by his sense of honour, pride, and desire for recognition. His journey throughout the Iliad will continue to be a central focus of the epic, as he grapples with issues of mortality, heroism, and the consequences of his own actions.

Critical analysis of the Iliad book 2

Book 2 of the Iliad sets the stage for the epic battle that is to come. While the focus of the book is on the preparations for battle, it also introduces us to some of the key characters on both sides of the conflict.

One of the most striking aspects of Book 2 is the amount of detail that is provided about the Greek and Trojan armies. Homer provides a long list of the various contingents that have arrived from all over Greece to fight in the war, along with detailed descriptions of the armour and weaponry that each contingent has brought with them. This attention to detail not only helps to set the scene for the battle, but it also serves to emphasize the magnitude of the conflict and the importance of the warriors who are about to fight.

Another important aspect of Book 2 is the way in which it highlights the tensions and rivalries among the Greek leaders. While they are all united in their goal of defeating the Trojans, they are also competing with each other for honour and glory. Agamemnon, in particular, is portrayed as a proud and arrogant leader who is more concerned with his own status than with the well-being of his troops. This is exemplified in his treatment of Achilles, whom he humiliates by taking away his war prize, Briseis.

The character of Thersites is also introduced in this book. He is portrayed as a cowardly troublemaker who constantly questions the authority of his superiors. While he provides some comic relief in an otherwise serious story, he also serves to underscore the importance of honour and respect in the world of the Iliad.

Overall, Book 2 of the Iliad serves as an important bridge between the opening scenes of the poem and the epic battle that is to come. It sets the stage for the conflict by introducing us to the armies and their leaders, while also emphasizing the rivalries and tensions that will play a key role in the unfolding story.

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