Iliad 24

Iliad 24

The End of the Rage
In book 24 of the Iliad, the epic is brought to an end. Not an end of brutality, but and ending of compassion. It begins with Zeus sending Iris to talk to Thetis and to Priam. Thetis was to tell Achilles to accept Priams request, returning the body of Hector so the Trojans could give Hector a proper burial. He receives the message to go and talk to Achilles, and he does so. Zeus sends Hermes with Priam for protection. Iris tells Priam of the plan when she says, “We will send/ As your guide and escort Hermes himself/ Who will lead you all the way to Achilles hut” (24.194-197). Zeus has promised Priam things will work because the gods disagree so strongly with what Achilles had done to Hectors corpse. On the journey Hermes is disguised as a Myrmidon, and he promises that Priam will arrive safely. Hermes reveals his true identity just as Priam is about to enter Achilles dwelling, but leaves Priam to meet with Achilles alone. Achilles was not expecting to see the king himself, and stared in disbelief. The aged king takes the suppliant position, down on a knee, before Achilles,

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