The Iliad Foreshadowing Quotes

But circling the other city camped a divided army
gleaming in battle-gear, and two plans split their ranks:
to plunder the city or share the riches with its people,
hoards the handsome citadel stored within its depths,
But the people were not surrendering, not at all.
They armed for a raid, hoping to break the siege –
loving wives and innocent children standing guard
on the ramparts, flanked by elders bent with age
as men marched out to war. Ares and Pallas led them.
both burnished gold, gold the attire they donned, and great,
magnificent in their armor – gods for all the world,
looming up in their brilliance, towering over troops.
And once they reached the perfect spot for attack,
…both armies battled it out along the river banks –
they raked each other with hurtling bronze-tipped spears.
And Strife and Havoc plunged in the fight, and violent Death
now seizing a man alive with fresh wounds, now one unhurt,
now hauling a dead man through the slaughter by the heels,
the cloak on her back stained red with human blood.
So they clashed and fought like living, breathing men
grappling each other’s corpses, dragging off the dead.

– Homer

The Iliad, Book 18, lines 593-605, 621-628. The second city featured on the massive shield of Achilles forged by Hephaestus is an extended metaphor for the embattled city of Troy, besieged by invading Achaeans. The scenes described foreshadow the Trojans leaving the city to fight the Achaeans between their shores and the city. Also foreshadowed is Achilles killing Hector and mistreating and dragging his body behind his chariot – "hauling a dead man through the slaughter by the heels." On the shield the god Ares and goddess Pallas Athena play a role in the fighting, he on the Trojan side and she supporting the Greeks.

O my husband…
cut off from life so young! You leave me a widow,
lost in the royal halls – and the boy only a baby,
the son we bore together, you and I so doomed.
I cannot think he will ever come to manhood.
Long before that the city will be sacked,
plundered top to bottom! Because you are dead,
her great guardian, you who always defended Troy,
who kept her loyal wives and helpless children safe,
all who will soon be carried off in the hollow ships
and I with them –
And you, my child, will follow me
to labor, somewhere, at harsh, degrading work,
slaving under some heartless master’s eye – that,
or some Achaean marauder will seize you by the arm
and hurl you headlong down from the ramparts – horrible death –
enraged at you because Hector once cut down his brother,
his father or his son, yes, hundreds of armed Achaeans
gnawed the dust of the world, crushed by Hector’s hands!
Your father, remember, was no man of mercy…
not in the horror of battle.

– Homer

The Iliad, Book 24, lines 852-869. These are the words of the grieving Andromache to her fallen husband Hector near the end of Homer’s epic poem. She laments that their baby boy, without the protection of his father, will end up in slavery or hurled from the ramparts by some Achaean marauder. This is foreshadowing of the terrible death of her son Astyanax, which will happen soon after the fall of Troy. According to Greek mythology he is thrown to his death. The fall of Troy is also foreshadowed, with Andromache prophesying that the city will soon be sacked and plundered.