Book 20:

Zeus rouses all the gods into the incessant battle.

Aeneas and Achilles: Aeneas takes on Achilles and is rescued by Poseidon; "He is destined to survive." 349

Achilles and Hector: Phoebus whisks Hector away.

Achilles goes on a killing spree

--read lines 554 to the end of the book

Book 21: "Achilles Fights the River"

Achilles in a frenzy slaughters the retreating Trojans. He takes twelve young Trojans captive, sending them back to his ship for later sacrifice.

"back he whirled, insane to hack more flesh" 37

In this book the descriptions of Achilles wrath against the Trojans includes graphic descriptions. Bowels spill out on the ground and decapitated heads fly across the land.

The River Scamander (whirling Xanthus called by the gods) challenges Achilles: (240-250) Stop, Achilles. . . all my lovely rapids are crammed with corpses now." Xanthus fights Achilles (as a river) and this drama is unique in ancient literature. It is the only supernatural scene in the Iliad, perhaps illustrating the excessiveness of the horrific amount of killing Achilles achieves. Xanthus nearly defeats Achilles, but Hephaestus blocks the water's force with fire. It is the first fire and water confrontation in literary antiquity. The river's strength was burning out (404).

Book 22: "The Death of Hector"

At the gates of Troy, Hector stands outside to face Achilles. His father King Priam and his mother beg Hector from the walls to come inside the citadel.

Interestingly Hector considers surrendering to Achilles but decides to run instead. Hector circles the city of Troy three times with Achilles in passionate pursuit. Notice the imagery as the warriors race around the city walls. Athena finally lures Hector into the duel with Achilles; she pretends to be Deiphobus, Hector's friend, and says that they together will face the man-killing Achilles.

Now kill or be killed. (lines 300-320) Achilles and Hector exchange words. As fated, the duel goes badly for Hector and with his dying words he begs Achilles to Honor his body and ransom it back to King Priam for a proper funeral. Achilles" rebuttal shows the depth of his inhumanity. "I'll hack your flesh away and eat you raw." 409

In The Odyssey,cannibalism is the most savage of human acts. Homer is clear on this value in The Odyssey;only the worst of human savages (who have no sense of xenia) devour human flesh. This statement is coupled with Achilles' previous refusal to eat with the other warriors, especially when Odysseus makes the argument that an army travels on its stomach. Aristotle said that a man who is incapable of working in common, or who in his self-sufficiency has no need of others, is no part of the community, like a beast or a god. The communal act of feasting has already been shown in Book 9 to be the ethics of camaraderie and community. Achilles' murderous promise to devour Hector raw marks his own isolation from the human community and places him, as Aristotle suggests, either with the gods or beasts.

The Greek army stands over the body or Hector and gloats. Each soldier stabs the body. Achilles pierces the tendons of the corpse and knots straps of rawhide through the tendons, lashing the body to the chariot. "Achilles whips his team "and breakneck on they flew, holding nothing back." 471-72

Andromache: "her voice rang out in tears and the women wailed in answer." 606

Book 23: "Funeral Games for Patroclus"

The most impressive section in this Book is the funeral pyre for Potroclus. Line 196-211 Achilles throws so much human and mammal carnage on the fire that it will not burn. Achilles prays to the two winds, Zephyr and Boreas, West and North, and the winds rose and "struck the pyre and a huge inhuman blaze went howling up the skies." 247-48

The games: Achilles will bascially give awya all his wealth as prizes. Why?

Book 24: "Achilles and Priam"