Homer's Iliad Summary: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

In this lesson we'll learn important people and places in Homer's 'The Iliad', including Achilles and Troy. Read on for a summary of this story and learn all about what happens.

What is The Iliad?

Have you ever heard of an epic? An epic is a story written as a long poem, and it's usually about historical heroes and the adventures they have! The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic written by a poet named Homer.

Statue of Homer

It takes place during the Trojan War, a war between the people of Troy, called Trojans, and the Greeks. Let's learn about what happens in the story!

Plot Summary

The plot of a story tells us what happens in the beginning, middle, and end. It usually includes story elements like the characters, setting, problem, and solution in the story. The setting of a story is both the time and place in which it takes place.


The Iliad takes place during the last year of the Trojan War, which lasted for 10 years. Two of the main characters in the story are the great Greek warrior Achilles and Agamemnon, a Greek king and leader during the war.

Mask of Agamemnon

They start the story by arguing about which one of them will win a woman that was originally promised to Achilles. Achilles loses the woman to Agamemnon, which upsets him. After this, Achilles decides he will no longer fight in the battle.


In the middle of the story, Hector, prince of Troy, leads the Trojans in many battles and fends off the Greek invaders. Many gods and goddesses get involved in these battles, but eventually Zeus, the king of the gods, tells the gods and goddesses to stop interfering.

During this time, Achilles has remained out of the fighting. One day, however, Hector kills Achilles' close friend Patroclus. Patroclus had dressed in Achilles' armor, and Hector thought he was killing the great warrior Achilles.

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