Achilleus As A Bearded Lion

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As some great bearded lion when some man, a deer hunter, has stolen his cubs away from him out of the close wood; the lion comes back too late, and is anguished, and turns into many valleys quartering after the man’s trail on the chance of finding him, and taken with bitter anger; so he, groaning heavily, spoke out to the Myrmidons:
(Iliad 18.318-323, tr. Lattimore)
“‘Patroklos’ has fallen, and now they are fighting over his body / which is naked. Hektor of the shining helm has taken his armor,’” Nestor explains to Achilleus (18.20-21). This heartbreaking news overtakes him with such grief that he “led the thronging chant of their lamentation,” according to book 18 line 316. The poet, Homer, compares Achilleus to a great bearded lion and Hektor to a deer hunter. The lion, after leaving his cubs alone, comes back too late and realizes that they have been taken. The lion getting his cubs stolen away by a deer hunter is representative of Achilleus losing his dear friend at the hands of Hektor. Similarly, Achilleus refuses to fight and lets Patroklos fight alone in his armor, according to the beginning of book 16. Both the lion and Achilleus are anguished and angry over their losses, and each vows to avenge their loved ones. Achilleus refers to his future revenge directly after the simile, “I will not bury you till I bring to this place the armor / and the head of Hektor, since he was your great-hearted murderer (18.334-335).” The lion “quartering after the man’s trail”

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