The Iliad – Chapter 5 Summary
Achilles takes pity on the Greeks and he sends his good friend Patroclus to go talk to Nestor, the king of Pylos. Nestor tells Patroclus to take Achilles place in pushing the Trojans back from Greek huts and ships while wearing Achilles’ armor. If he wears the armor, the Trojans may think that he is Achilles and they would retreat in fear. Patroclus goes back to Achilles and convinces Achilles to let him lead the Myrmidons into battle in Achilles’ place.
Achilles agreed to let Patroclus drive the Trojans from the Greeks’ hollow ships. When the Trojans retreated after seeing Achilles’ armor, Patroclus didn’t go back to Achilles like he said he would. Instead, he kept on going towards Troy.
Apollo came down from Mount Olympus to help Troy. Three times Patroclus climbed the high wall of Troy and each time Apollo pushed him down. When a fourth attempt was made, Apollo said that it’s not Patroclus’ fate to destroy the great city of Priam.
During a battle, Apollo became a thick mist. He went behind Patroclus and struck Patroclus on the back with hand. He then knocked his helmet to the ground and speared Patroclus in the back. This didn’t kill Patroclus though. Hector then came and drove his spear into Patroclus’s stomach. As he was dying he said Hector doesn’t have long to live. His fate is to be killed by Achilles. The Greeks and the Trojans fought for Patroclus’s body. Finally, the Greeks were able to bring his corpse back on the hollow ships.
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