Erin has taught college level english courses and has a master's degree in english.
Zeus Is Back
Zeus wakes up after being seduced and duped by Hera. He realizes immediately that while he was 'distracted' (i.e. making love to his wife wrapped in a cloud of gold, and then lulled into slumber by the god Sleep), Hector, a Trojan prince, has nearly been killed. Zeus is pretty ticked at Hera for orchestrating Hector's assault and the rout of the Trojans. Hera plays dumb, batting her eyelashes and claiming she had nothing to do with it - it was all Poseidon, she swears! Zeus is satisfied with her explanation and tells her they must unite against Poseidon. He orders Hera to get Iris and Apollo to come and help.
Zeus then reveals his master plan for the war. His support for the Trojans is only temporary, meant to highlight the great warrior Achilles' glory even more when he finally rejoins the battle. Zeus also reveals that the course of the war is already determined. He knows that Hector will kill Patroclus, which will finally spur Achilles to re-enter the fighting and ultimately lead the Greeks to victory.
The Good Wife
Hera is done with deception and seduction, at least for the time being. She swiftly follows Zeus' orders, heading off to Mount Olympus to summon Iris and Apollo. While she's there, she does talk some smack about her husband, complaining about him and his annoying rage. Still, she admits, there's not much she or the other immortals can do but put up with Zeus - he is the most powerful, after all. Hera commands Iris and Apollo to go see Zeus ASAP to receive their orders, and then returns to her throne.
The two immortals report to Zeus, and Iris gets her job first. Zeus commands her to give a message to Poseidon, who is currently raining down pain on the Trojans. Iris is to tell him to stop at once on the order of his brother, Zeus, and if he doesn't, he'll regret it. Iris obediently heads over to Poseidon and relates the message.
Poseidon doesn't take it well - he can barely contain his rage at his big brother's arrogance. Poseidon claims to be Zeus' equal and just as powerful as Zeus is. Iris persuades him to rethink this and Poseidon finally gives in, but threatens that if the Greeks aren't ultimately the winners of the war, the rift between him and Zeus will never heal. With that Poseidon disappears into the ocean. He does love a dramatic exit.
Seeing that Iris has completed her mission, Zeus turns to Apollo. Apollo's job is to go to Hector and invigorate him with new strength and courage. This is a tall order, since the last time we saw Hector he was bent over, vomiting and near death. Apollo swoops off down to Hector, who is still dazed but slowly coming to. Apollo's approach is to first taunt Hector, asking why he's so far from his troops. Defensive, Hector answers, explaining about the huge boulder to the chest he took from Ajax. Apollo drops the taunting act and reassures Hector, telling him that Zeus is on his side and has sent Apollo to save him.
The Trojans Are Coming! The Trojans Are Coming!
Thanks to Apollo, Hector is refreshed. He rejoins the ranks, and when the Greeks see him, their hearts collectively sink. This is bad news for them. The Greek Thoas tries to rouse his troops, calling for the best fighters to hold their ground and defend their ships while the rest of the Greeks fall back. The elite Greek fighters respond, falling into line and holding fast in front of their ships.
But they face a daunting onrush of angry Trojans. The gods - for the moment - are against the Greeks, and the presence of the immortal Apollo gives the Trojans the advantage. Although the Greeks admirably stand up to the charge, they are no match for the Trojans and their helpful god. The Trojans keep advancing, and Apollo tears into the Greek ramparts with the ease of a child kicking down sand castles. Most of the Greeks are fleeing in panic by now.
Although everything is going the Trojans' way, we must never forget that the ultimate plan is for the Greek side to prevail. We get some indication of this toward the end of Book 15. The pounding the Greeks are getting spurs Patroclus to run to Achilles side. This foreshadows Achilles' eventual return to combat. But for now, the gods are still helping the Trojans - in fact, Zeus himself intervenes to break the bowstring of the Greek Teucer, who comes very close to killing Hector.
As the battle rages on, Hector feels strong and confident in the support of the gods. Zeus will only go so far before he turns on the Trojans, but for the moment he's giving Hector his full share of glory. Hector's days may be numbered, but he's going out a hero. Book 15 ends with Hector pressing forward, intending to set fire to the ships, with the Greeks still valiantly trying to hold on and defend.
Book 15 of The Iliad involves Zeus' intervention to restore power to the Trojans. Zeus has Iris convince Poseidon to stop helping the Greeks. He then commands Apollo to help out the Trojans, specifically Hector, who is nearly beaten. With Apollo's help, Hector regains his strength and confidence and the Trojans mount an awesome attack on the Greek ships. Hector is at his most fully heroic, and Zeus is on his side, but the favor of the gods will soon run out. Zeus himself admits that he is only helping the Trojans so that Achilles will look even better when he finally rejoins the fighting. Hector, in the meantime, will make hay while the sun shines, and Book 15 ends with him about to set fire to the Greek ships.
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