"Meanwhile the people were gathered..."
See in text (Book XVIII)
The shield of Achilles is an important symbol in the Iliad. Although the entire poem so far has taken place on or around the battlefield, most of the scenes on the shield are of normal, everyday life during times of peace. The shield, symbolizing life beyond the battlefield, is a reminder that human life is made up of a range of ordinary experiences and that war is only one part of the whole of human existence.