Ch 2: The Iliad Literary Analysis & Themes

About This Chapter

This chapter covers topics related to the themes and literary analysis of ''The Iliad.'' You can access these engaging lessons and quizzes whenever you need to bring up your literature grades, catch up in class or study for an upcoming exam.

Who's It For?

Anyone who needs help analyzing or understanding the themes of The Iliad will benefit from the lessons in this chapter. There is no faster or easier way to analyze the epic Greek poem's major themes. Among those who would benefit are:

  • Students who want to learn a broad topic in a short amount of time
  • Students who are looking for easy ways to identify the most important information on the topic
  • Students who have fallen behind in memorizing the major themes from The Iliad
  • Students who prefer multiple ways of learning about literature (visual or auditory)
  • Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
  • Students who have limited time to study for an upcoming exam

How It Works:

  • Complete each lesson in the chapter to review all key topics.
  • Refer to the lesson to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with a short quiz.
  • Complete your review with The Iliad Literary Analysis & Themes chapter exam.

Why It Works:

  • Study Efficiently: The lessons in this chapter cover only information you need to know.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging instruction and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Take The Iliad Literary Analysis & Themes chapter exam to make sure you're prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any literature question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: View lessons on any web-ready device.

Students Will Review:

This chapter summarizes the material students need to know about the themes and literary analysis of The Iliad for a standard literature course. Topics covered include:

  • A timeline and plot analysis of The Iliad
  • Literary criticism about the poem
  • Examples of conflict in The Iliad
  • The poem's moral lessons
  • Gender roles and the role of women in The Iliad
  • The role of gods and divine intervention in The Iliad
  • Character epithets
  • Themes from the poem, including family, fate, kleos and honor

14 Lessons in Chapter 2: The Iliad Literary Analysis & Themes
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Iliad Plot Analysis & Timeline

1. The Iliad Plot Analysis & Timeline

'The Iliad' by Homer is the epic poem that gives some background to the legend of Achilles and the last few weeks of the ten-year battle between the Greeks and Trojans. Revenge and meddling gods weave through this epic of a seemingly endless war.

The Iliad Literary Criticism

2. The Iliad Literary Criticism

This lesson will provide an overview of literary criticism on the epic poem, the ''Iliad.'' It will introduce you to the Homeric Question and discuss scholarly responses to it over the past few centuries.

Conflict in The Iliad

3. Conflict in The Iliad

Man versus man, god versus man, god versus god...battles such as these go down in history for a reason. Learn what happened during the fierce battles that raged in 'The Iliad.'

Moral Lessons from The Iliad

4. Moral Lessons from The Iliad

Homer's epic 'The Iliad' offers various moral lessons about family, respect, leadership, and other topics. This lesson looks at morality against the backdrop of key plot points and quotes.

Family in The Iliad

5. Family in The Iliad

Although ''The Iliad'' is largely about warfare, there are hints of family life throughout the work. This lesson looks at passages where we see glimpses of domestic life and familial relationships.

Gender Roles in The Iliad

6. Gender Roles in The Iliad

One of the things that keeps folks interested in Homer's ''The Iliad'', an epic poem written thousands of years ago, is the wealth of information it provides about ancient Greek society. In this lesson, we look at how gender roles are constructed for both men and women in the ''The Iliad.''

The Role of Women in The Iliad

7. The Role of Women in The Iliad

Though best remembered as a war story with a predominantly male cast, ''The Iliad'' depends on several female characters to further its plot and add to its emotional power. In this lesson, we will discuss these women and their role in ''The Iliad.''

How are the Gods Portrayed in The Iliad?

8. How are the Gods Portrayed in The Iliad?

Though the gods are supposed to be watching out for the best interests of the people, their jealousy and pettiness are what ultimately decided the fate of the fighters in the Trojan War.

Character Epithets in The Iliad

9. Character Epithets in The Iliad

As one of the great works of Homeric poetry, ''The Iliad'' makes prominent use of epithets to describe and reference various characters. In this lesson, you will learn about the usage and origins of epithets for the epic's major characters.

Themes in The Iliad

10. Themes in The Iliad

Dive into several of the most prominent themes in Homer's epic poem 'The Iliad.' This lesson explores the themes of love and friendship, fate and free will, and honor with concrete details so you can explore the subtext of the poem.

Fate in The Iliad

11. Fate in The Iliad

In the world of Homer, fate always prevails. However, men, and especially gods, have some room for free will to make choices within the framework of their destinies. This lesson examines the role of fate in Homer's ''Iliad.''

Honor in The Iliad

12. Honor in The Iliad

Honor plays a large role in the daily life and religion of Greek culture, and the great Greek epic the Iliad has much to say about it. This lesson will cover the theme of honor in Homer's Iliad.

Kleos in The Iliad

13. Kleos in The Iliad

This lesson defines the term kleos, or fame and glory, and discusses the importance of kleos in Homer's the Iliad through the examples of Achilles, Nestor, and Hector.

Divine Intervention in The Iliad

14. Divine Intervention in The Iliad

This lesson discusses divine intervention in Homer's 'The Iliad'. Focus is placed on both good and bad interventions and how they shaped the plot of this epic poem.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.