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Characters

Learn about characters in Homer's epic poem The Iliad with Course Hero's video study guide.

The Iliad | Characters

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Character Description Traits
Achilles Achilles is the greatest hero on the Achaean (Greek) side of the Trojan War, and he refuses to fight after being insulted. Read More proud, swift, mighty, angry, unforgiving
Hector Hector is the son of King Priam of Troy and the greatest hero on the Trojan side. Read More brave, proud, honorable, strong, gentle
Agamemnon Agamemnon is the king of Mycenae and leader of the Achaeans; he insults Achilles's pride. Read More arrogant, entitled, unrepentant, ruthless
Priam Priam is the king of Troy and father of Hector, Paris, and others. Read More humble, kind, reasonable
Thetis Thetis is a goddess of the sea and the mother of Achilles. Read More devoted, worried, protective
Paris Paris is the prince of Troy who stole Helen from Menelaus, starting the Trojan War. Read More self-indulgent, shallow, dramatic, boastful
Patroclus Patroclus is Achilles's closest friend and comrade-in-arms. Read More brave, compassionate, loyal
Aeneas Aeneas is a commander in the Trojan army, who is protected by his mother, the goddess Aphrodite. brave, practical, devout
Andromache Andromache is Hector's wife.
Apollo Apollo, also known by the epithet "Phoebus," is the god of archers and medicine, who supports the Trojans. fair, calm, compassionate, vengeful
Astyanax Astyanax, whom Hector calls Scamandrius, is the son of Hector and Andromache.
Athena Athena, also known by the epithet "Pallas," is the goddess of war and handicrafts, who supports the Achaeans. angry, fierce, powerful, unforgiving, wise, gray-eyed
Briseis Briseis is Achilles's prize who is taken from him by Agamemnon.
Chryseis Chryseis is the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo, who was taken as a prize by Agamemnon.
Diomedes Diomedes, also called "Tydides," meaning "son of Tydeus," is an Achaean fighter known for his war cry who wounds two gods. mighty, devout, brave
Glaucus Glaucus is a leader of the Lycians who are allies of the Trojans.
Great Ajax Ajax, son of Telamon (who should not be confused with Little Ajax, son of Oileus), is nearly a giant and the second-best fighter in the Achaean army. gigantic, mighty, fearless
Hecuba Hecuba is King Priam's wife and Hector's mother.
Helen Helen is the former wife of King Menelaus, who was stolen by Prince Paris of Troy. unhappy, remorseful, self-aware
Hera Hera is the queen of the gods and wife of Zeus, who passionately hates the Trojans. jealous, angry, underhanded
Menelaus Menelaus, like his brother Agamemnon, is an Achaean king and son of Atreus, as well as the former husband of Helen. subordinate, respectable, easygoing
Nestor Nestor is the oldest commander in the Achaean army, who often provides wise advice and tells long stories. respected, wise, long-winded
Odysseus Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, is a wily captain in the Achaean army. cunning, strong, well spoken, resourceful
Pandarus Pandarus is a Trojan archer who hits Menelaus with an arrow, igniting the Achaeans to renew the fight.
Phoenix Phoenix is one of the Achaean commanders and is known for having raised Achilles.
Polydamas Polydamas is a commander in the Trojan army whose advice Hector fatefully doesn't take. clear-sighted, wise, brave
Poseidon Poseidon, who is the brother of Zeus, is the god of the sea. powerful, cunning, authoritative
Sarpedon Sarpedon is Zeus's son and the commander of the Trojan allies from Lycia whom he cannot save. bold, responsible
Thersites Thersites is a common foot soldier who acts with insubordination in arguing with Agamemnon.
Zeus Zeus is the king of the gods, who agrees to punish the Achaeans for the insult to Achilles's honor. powerful, authoritative, tricky
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