Guided Reading Questions

These basic questions are designed to help you understand the events of the story. They should be completed as you read each book, and I will give fair warning before I collect them for a completion grade.

You are also expected to complete the "Questions for Further Discussion." These are thought provoking questions that require you to analyze and evaluate theme, characterization, symbolism, and conflict in the story. "Questions for Further Discussion" will have set due dates, and will act as your "admittance ticket" to the Socratic seminars.

The Iliad

Guided Reading Questions ~ Scroll to the bottom of the page for a printer friendly version of these questions.

Book 1

1. The book opens during what year of the Trojan War?

2. Who is the priest that Achilles calls upon to see what must be done to appease Apollo?

3. Who are the two beautiful women that are captured as war prizes?

4. Who was the mortal man responsible for the plague against the army?.

5. Who calls Agamemnon greedy for profit and shameless?

6. Who stops Achilles from killing Agamemnon?

7. Who is the wise leader from Pylos who tries to stop Achilles and Agamemnon from arguing?

8. Who is Achilles' mother?

9. Who accompanies Chryseis back home?

10. What is Thetis?

11. Who does Thetis appeal to in order to regain honor to Achilles?

12. Who is Zeus' wife?


Book 2

1. Who prophesies that the Greeks will win the war against the Trojans in ten years?

2. Why is Zeus awake at night in the beginning of Book 2?

3. Why does Agamemnon tell the soldiers that they should give up and go home?

4. Who intervenes to prevent the soldiers from deserting Agamemnon?

5. Who speaks to the Greek soldiers to convince them to stay and fight when Agamemnon is telling them to go home?

6. Who opposes the speech which encourages the Greeks to fight after Agamemnon tells them to go home?

7. Nestor reminds the men that they have not accomplished what goal?

8. What does Agamemnon sacrifice to Zeus in Book 2?

9. What is listed in Book 2?

10. What are the two sides in the war?

11. Why do the men gather down by their vessels at the end of Book 2?

12. What does Zeus suggest to Agamemnon in a dream in order to trick him?


Book 3

1. What is the challenge Paris issues to the Greeks on the battlefield?

2. Who answers Paris' challenge to the Greeks on the battlefield?

3. Why does Hector chastise Paris when he finds Paris with the troops and not preparing to meet his challenger from the Greek army?

4. What objects are sacrificed before the duel in Book 3 between Paris and his competition?

5. What is Helen weaving when she is visited by a divine messenger?

6. Who does Helen sit next to when watching Paris taking part in the duel on the battlefield?

7. Which god or goddess protects Paris during the challenge that he issued to the Greeks on the battlefield?

8. Who demands that the Trojans concede victory to the Greeks and return Helen?

9. Who does King Priam blame for the war?

10. What does Helen challenge Paris to do?

11. What about Helen angers Aphrodite in Book 3?

12. How does Helen entertain King Priam?


Book 4

1. What are Zeus, Hera, and Athena arguing about on Mount Olympus after the divine intervention in Paris' duel?

2. According to Zeus, who wins the duel between Paris and his Greek competitor on the battlefield?

3. After Zeus and Hera come to an agreement on Mount Olympus, who is sent to stir the men up to battle?

4. Who does Athena disguise herself as?

5. What does Pandaros do to Menelaus in order to break the truce between the Greeks and the Trojans?

6. What god or goddess helps the Trojans in Book 4?

7. What god or goddess helps the Greeks in Book 4?

8. Before Pandaros' actions cause more fighting, what are the Greeks and Trojans close to doing?

9. What promise does Zeus get from Hera?

10. Which goddess hates Troy?

11. What will Pandaros get if he follows the advice of Athena and causes more fighting?

12. Agamemnon is confident that what?


Book 5

1. In Achilles' absence, who is the Greek's best warrior?

2. Who helps Diomedes when he is injured by Pandaros?

3. What does lifting the veil from Diomedes' eyes allow him to do?

4. What warning does Athena give Diomedes after she lifts the veil from his eyes?

5. What is Diomedes allowed to do to Aphrodite if necessary?

6. Who is Aphrodite's mother?

7. Why does Aphrodite flee the battle after she interferes to save her son, Aeneas?

8. How does Aphrodite flee the battle in Book 5?

9. What does Diomedes say to his companions?

10. Who is Ares?

11. Who joins forces with the Greeks to even the odds against Ares?.

12. Why do the mortals end up fighting without the gods?


Book 6

1. Who kills Adrestos?

2. What prevents Diomedes from killing Glaukos?

3. How do Diomedes and Glaukos seal their friendship?

4. What does Hector do when the Trojans are forced to retreat?

5. Where does Hector find Paris after the Trojans are forced to retreat?

6. Why does Andromache not want Hector to go back to the battle?

7. Why does Hector say he has to fight?

8. What frightens Hector's son?

9. Who does Hector pray to for his son to be a great ruler?

10. Who is urging Paris to return to the battlefield?

11. What does Paris promise to Hector when Hector finds him after the Trojans retreat to the city?

12. Where did Hector's wife go to see if she can find him?


Book 7

1. Who decides the violence should end?

2. How is Hector inspired in his plan to stop the fighting?

3. Who is the first man who offers to fight Hector when Hector challenges the Greeks to a duel so that the fighting can end??

4. Which Greek man is chosen to fight Hector after Nestor shames them?

5. What does Paris decide to do to end the fighting?

6. Who recommends that both sides take a break from the war to bury their dead?


Book 8

1. What does Zeus forbid the other gods to do after he tells them his plan?

2. What advice does Zeus let Athena give to the Greeks after she promises not to interfere?

3. What does Zeus send as a sign that he has heard Agamemnon when Hector is on the verge of burning the Greek ships?

4. Which god does Hera ask to help the Greeks when she sees the Greeks are overwhelmed?

5. What is the response of the god to Hera's request for him to help the Greeks?

6. Which Greek man's death is foretold by Zeus to Hera?


Book 9

1. What emotion causes Agamemnon to have a change of heart towards Achilles?

2. Agamemnon's offer to Achilles is meant to do what?

3. What is one of Achilles' possible destinies?

4. Why does Phoenix burst into tears after Achilles' speach?

5. After Agamemnon is stunned by Achilles' response to his offer, what does Diomedes says Achilles will do?

6. Phoenix is what to Achilles?


Book 11

1. Who does Zeus send down to the Greeks to stir up the battle?

2. Where does Achilles watch the battle from?

3. Who does Achilles send to get information on the war?

4. Where has Eurypylos been wounded

5. What does Patroclus do for the wound of Eurypylos?

6. After Zeus sends the goddess of Hate down to the Greeks, what does he send Iris to tell Hector?


Book 12

1. What did the Greeks build without Poseidon's permission?

2. What does Poulydamas suggest to Hector?

3. What is the eagle carrying when it appears as a sign as the Trojans are trying to cross the ditch on foot?

4. Where is the eagle injured?

5. When do the Trojans finally break through the wall?

6. Where do the Greeks retreat to?


Book 13

1. Why does Zeus take his eyes off the battlefield after the Trojans have driven the Greeks to their ships?

2. Who does Poseidon disguise himself as when he appears to the Greeks after Zeus has taken his eyes off the battlefield?

3. Who does Poseidon appear to?

4. Why does Poseidon interfere again?

5. During the fighting that occurs after the Greeks are driven to their ships by the Trojans, what inspires Menelaus to fight valiantly?

6. After being advised by Poulydamas to concentrate his forces for more strength, Hector is challenged by which Greek man?


Book 14

1. Who does Nestor meet with in order to discuss what to do now that they were wounded and could not fight?

2. Poseidon appears to whom in order to inspire him to lead his men onto the battlefield, but stay out of range of arrows so as not to be wounded further?

3. Ajax wounds Hector with what?

4. What does Hera do to Poseidon?

5. Who suggests that Odysseus, Diomedes, and Agamemnon go to the battlefield to be seen and not fight?

6. Who's withdrawal weakens the Trojan army?


Book 15

1. Who must breathe strength into Hector?

2. Who tells the gods about Zeus' plan?

3. What weapon does Ajax carry?

4. Patroclus leaves Eurypylos to go to whom?

5. What does Zeus hope will make Achilles so angry that he will kill Hector?

6. What do the Trojans do to the Greek ships after Hector has had strength breathed into him by a god?


Book 16

1. Achilles tells Patroclus that he is not fighting because of what?

2. Patroclus wears what that belongs to Achilles?

3. What does Achilles keep from Patroclus?

4. After Patroclus is sent to the fighting by Achilles, Achilles asks what of Zeus?

5. Apollo reminds Patroclus of what?

6. Patroclus tells Hector that Hector gained victory because?


Book 17

1. Who wins the armor of Achilles?

2. What are Patroclus' horses doing after Patroclus dies while there is a fight over his body?

3. Who delivers the news of Patroclus' death to Achilles?

4. Why does Menelaus think Achilles will not come to fight?

5. Which two Greeks carry Patroclus's body out of the battlefield and to the ships after Patroclus dies?

6. What happens to Patroclus' horses?


Book 18

1. Who comes to grieve Patroclus' death with Achilles?

2. What does Achilles tell his mother he is going to do in response to Patroclus' death?

3. What does Achilles' mother ask him to wait for?

4. Who is Hera's messenger to Achilles?

5. What does Athena do to Achilles?

6. Who is the fire god?


Book 19

1. What does Thetis advise Achilles to do?

2. After Agamemnon offers gifts in repentance to Achilles, where does Achilles tell Agamemnon their attention should be?

3. Who does Zeus send to Achilles with ambrosia?

4. What instructions does Achilles give to his horses?

5. What goddess gives the horses a voice?

6. What does Xanthos promise Achilles?


Book 20

1. What does Zeus tell the divinities on Mount Olympus when he summons them after Achilles returns to the fighting?

2. Who does Apollo disguise himself as in order to delay Achilles from fighting Hector?

3. Achilles' mother is the daughter of which god?

4. After Apollo intervenes, who confronts Achilles first?

5. What does Apollo forbid Hector to do when fighting Achilles after Patroclus has died?

6. Who saves Hector from being killed?


Book 21

1. How many men does Achilles decide to kill to avenge Patroclus?

2. Achilles kills so many men in the river, that he angers what god?

3. What do Athena and Poseidon urge Achilles to do after he has angered the river god?

4. Hera injures what god?

5. Apollo takes what form on the battlefield?

6. Why does Apollo make Achilles chase him all over the plain?


Book 22

1. Who is the first Trojan to see Achilles approach the city gates?

2. Who does Athena appear to Hector disguised as?

3. Who kills Hector?

4. What does Hector beg to have happen with his body?

5. What gates of Troy will Paris and Apollo be waiting for Achilles at, according to Hector?

6. After Hector has died, and is being dragged behind Achilles' chariot, who utters a lament for Hector?


Book 23

1. Who reminds Achilles that his fate is to die under the Trojan walls?

2. Aphrodite anoints Hectors corpse with what?

3. Apollo grants what protection to Hector's corpse?

4. How many events are there in the funeral games?

5. Who wins the spear throwing event in the Funeral Games?

6. After Patroclus has been avenged, who appears to Achilles in a dream to remind him of his fate?


Book 24

1. Who is sent as a messenger to tell Achilles the gods are angry with him for the continued humiliation of Hector's body?

2. Who is sent to King Priam to tell him that he can ransom his son's body?

3. Who was sent to the plain to guide King Priam safely through the Greek army?

4. How long does Achilles hold the Greek army back so Priam can bury Hector?

5. Who alerts the Trojans to King Priam's return?

6. What does Hermes do in the night to King Priam while he is in the Greek camp to ransom Hector's body?

Patty Brown,
Oct 24, 2010, 2:23 PM