Snark-Notes

The Iliad
  • where: Troy
  • what: a really, really long war
  • why: Paris (Prince of Troy and asshole extraordinaire) showed up to a dinner party at Menalaus’ house and kidnapped his wife Helen 
  • Menelaus is pissed
  • Helen is also pissed because every is blaming her for being a harlot and she’s shut up inside Troy with a bunch of old dudes and judgmental noblewomen 
  • Agamemnon, brother of Menelaus and Major Rich Dude In Charge is being a little shit. He and Achilles took some women as war prizes while they were out looting (as one does) and Aggie took the daughter of a priest of Apollo
  • rookie move tbh
  • he gets at least five chances to give the girl back and make good with Apollo and he’s too busy being Angry and Powerful and Painfully Idiotic
  • so Apollo sends down a plague on the camp. people are keeling over left and right.
  • the seer (there’s always one) tells everyone that the plague is punishment for Agamemnon being lame as hell
  • Agamemnon basically backflips out a nonexistent window and starts foaming at the mouth, and steals Achilles’ home girl
  • he’s Mr. steal your (war prize) girl
  • this is not the best move because it is an insult to Achilles honor.
  • these dudes would rather set themselves on fire and jump into a pool of gasoline than have their honor questioned
  • why is human trafficking is a point of honor? no idea
  •  but honor is bae
  • Achilles runs away, sits on a rock, cries and plays the lyre for approximately the next 20-30 pages
  • everyone dies because Achilles isn’t there. he is the best and nothing gets done without him. it’s every angry fourteen yet-old’s fantasy— “maybe if I run away, THEN you’ll see!!!” 
  • so many people die
  • the gods keep fucking with people and spiriting them away in mist
  • this makes hand to hand combat much more difficult than necessary and may be why the war lasted so incredibly long
  • Paris continues to run around being incompetent 
  • his brother Hector rolls his eyes a lot and slays people
  • Helen is still trapped in Troy and is still the best person in the Epic. Everyone is still being terrible to her. 
  • Agamemnon starts to realize he fucked up and sends some people to apologize to Achilles. 
  • He offers Achilles a bunch of cities, his daughter to marry, a noble position, hella tripods and cauldrons, and a bunch of other weird Greek bullshit 
  • Achilles is just like “nah” and continues staring dramatically into the distance
  • his main bro/bff/lover/boyfriend/soulmate Patroclus is fed up with Achilles’ drama and decides to go fight
  • Achilles lends him his fancy armor to terrify people with and continues sulking on the beach because nothing could possibly go wrong in this scenario
  • plot twist: after slaying a bunch of Trojans, Patroclus is killed by Hector. wow, who saw that one coming? (literally everyone except Achilles)
  • Achilles levels up and gets some new badass armor from the gods to avenge Patroclus 
  • he returns to the battle, kills a bunch of dudes, gets in a sword fight with a river, and then with a little divine help, manages to kill Hector
  • revenge over, right? WRONG
  • then Achilles drags Hector’s body around behind a chariot and sulks a lot more
  • Hector’s dad Priam shows up and makes puppy dog eyes at Achilles. they both weep and beat their breasts a lot and bond over the universality of grief 
  • then they have dinner together and Achilles is like “yeah, I guess you can have your son’s corpse back”
  • and Priam is like “nice”
  • and then everyone in Troy weeps and laments Hector
  • there’s much beating of breasts and wailing
  • then it’s over
  • and you’re like what about the Trojan horse? what about Helen? nothing is resolved
  • well PSYCH
  • none of those things are in the Iliad
  • just weeping
  • war sucks
  • the end