Analysis Of Homer 's ' The Iliad ' Essay

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Humans inherently change and evolve, may it be for better or for worse. Such an obvious theme in human existence is unsurprisingly evident in many works of literature, in which protagonists are prone to development and complex arcs. However, many may argue that certain characters in prose or poetry, in fact, do not undergo this aforementioned transformation and rather stay stagnant, never evolving past their current form. Such debate surrounds Achilles, the famous Greek hero, who is one of the main characters in Homer’s classic, The Iliad. Many consider that Achilles never overcomes his godly mênis, which leads to grand calamity. On the contrary, others affirm that Achilles’ heart does soften and he is subjected to the typical arcs of any character. This debate remains; however, close analysis of the text provides strong evidence to support that Achilles does ,in fact, go through drastic development and transforms from how he previously was. At first, Achilles is selfish and abhorrently animalistic. However, at the close of The Iliad, Homer hints to a shift in his character, displaying a more calm and compassionate Achilles. The first book of The Iliad immediately communicates to the reader the exact violent and intense fervor of Achilles’ selfish fury. The very first line of Homer’s epic reads as follows, “Rage ― Goddess, sing of Peleus’ son Achilles, murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses, hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls …”

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