Achille's Emotions Essay

2129 WordsApr 11, 20139 Pages
Spring 13 Spring 13 University of Miami University of Miami Midtem #1/ENG 201-N Anchita Sanan #1. Discuss the character of Achilles in Homer’s Iliad. What is the nature of the existential crisis in which he finds himself, and why is his relationship to both gods and the other Greek warriors so unusual? What realization does he arrive at during his period of withdrawal from the battlefield? What does it mean to say that he is probably the first true individual as well as the first “problem character,” in Western literature? Finally, discuss the reader’s response to his behavior. In what ways does Achilles repel our human sympathies? In what ways does he maintain or regain them? In this context you will certainly want to discuss his…show more content…
Achilles retaliates with even harsher words to Agamemnon once Athena disappears, calling him a coward who sits behind the scenes whilst his men fight and die for him and vows to not take any part in the war from this point forth, for he has been scorned by the wordings of Agamemnon. When the men of Agamemnon come to take Briseis, Achilles gives her up without a fight, despite how heavy his heart is at the thought of losing her. Once she is gone, Achilles withdraws from his companions and sobs, praying to his mother to understand why he is treated the way he is, why he isn’t treated with respect. His mother, hearing his laments, comes to console him, telling him that she will visit Zeus and try to sway him towards helping the Trojans and destroying the Achaeans, to make them pay for disrespecting the son of Thetis. This is just one of the many examples of how Achilles is ruled by his emotions, of how him being the son of Zeus and Thetis aids him in his goals and gives him an upper hand. He is favored not only by Athena, but also by Hera, and indirectly by Zeus, who tries to maintain neutrality throughout the course of the Iliad. There are various occasions on which the God’s interfere, each trying to help either the Trojans or the Achaeans. On more than one occasion, Thetis interferes on behalf of her son, trying to gain him some ground by calling in the favors that she

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