And the dream flew off into the night and left him / pondering things that were fated never to happen.
Zeus sends Agamemnon a false dream to convince him to attack the Trojans. This dream states Agamemnon cannot fail if he sends the full force of his army against the enemy. Agamemnon takes the dream as truth, thinking Zeus is on his side rather than deliberately setting up Agamemnon to fail. Homer, however, provides an insight that the war is guided by a higher authority than Agamemnon or Zeus: that is, fate. Homer implies the war is already fated to its trajectory, so the reader knows Agamemnon will not succeed with this attempt to overtake the Trojans quickly and decisively.
No man shall send me to Hades before my time, / and no man, I promise, has ever escaped his fate / from the moment that he was born, whether brave man or coward.
Hector believes his wife, Andromache, when she says he will die in the war, but that belief does not stop him from returning to the battlefield. Hector argues fate will catch up to a man no matter what he does, so it is best to meet life and death head-on. He uses the other side of Andromache’s argument that fate dictates when a person dies, but it also dictates when they do not die. Hector believes he still has more to accomplish before he will meet his end, so he cannot justify trying to avoid certain death at the hands of Achilles.
Do you want to take a mere mortal and set him free / from a death that has been ordained for him? Do as you wish, / but be aware that not all the gods will approve.
Hera implies that Zeus has the power to change the fate of mortals, but she and many of the other gods do not believe he should use that power. She argues that, if gods go around changing the fates of mortals they are fond of, there will be no reason for fate to exist. Hera also reminds Zeus of the resentment it would stir up among the gods if they all tried to control fate. She thinks fate is best left alone because it is a better, if not necessarily more powerful, way to let mortals live. Even the gods respect the sanctity of fate.