Structures of Progression in the Plot of the Iliad - Project MUSE
Summarize the plot of The Iliad
Fenik has investigated other versions of the Rhesus myth, which do not mention Dolon. He is unable to reconcile inconsistencies in those versions with Book 10 and with the plot of the because they make Rhesus a more important warrior than Achilles and the magical element of the oracle is "jarring." In the Iliad, Rhesus' story is so different that he loses all importance and is only a minor figure. Fenik argues that other versions of the Rhesus tale are older than the and that Dolon is included in Book 10 to help with this change. He suggests that the original, pre-Iliadic motivation for the night raid was to kill Hector. But this was altered because it was inappropriate for the Iliad: it would be cowardly to kill the hero Hector at night and such an attempt would be doomed to fail since it is inconsistent with the plot of the Iliad. Fenik persuasively concludes that Book 10 is "clearly fitted to the Iliad, no matter how uncomfortably it sits in its present surroundings" because the poet adapted his mythic material to the Iliad.
book 16 is a crucial turning point in the plot of the Iliad
While the main plot of the Iliad is indeed the story of the Wrath of Achilles (), the bounds of Homeric epic poem are much wider. There is a great number of stories of deeds past, some premonitions of things that are about to happen (in a brilliant compositional decision, Homer doesn't tell us a story of the fall of Troy in the Iliad, Hector's death serving as an omen for that). There's really less than a half of books in Iliad where Achilles is the main hero (namely, 1, 9, 16, 18-24; this led scientists to suppose that there was an older oral poem telling of Achilles' Wrath alone that Homer used as a basis for the Iliad). This supposed poem is commonly called 'Menis' ('Wrath') instead of 'Achilleid' in order to prevent confusion with the Achilleid, a Latin epic poem by P. Papinius Statius (II c. A.D.)