“Remind him of that, now, go and sit beside hime, grasp his knees... see how mad he was to disgrace Achilles, the best of the Achaean” (1, 484-490). This pacifies Achilles’ rage briefly while he goes back to the ships and refuses to help the struggling Achaeans on the battlefield because Agamemnon hurt his pride. Another instance that highlights Achilles flaw of anger is when the great Trojan warrior, Hector, kills Achilles close comrade Patroclus. Achilles bursts from his sulking attitude out of the Achaean ships in a rage of passionate fury that even his pride cannot overcome. “My dear comrade’s dead... Hector’s battered down by my spear and gasps away his life, the blood-price for Patroclus, Menotius’ gallant son he’s killed and stripped” (18, 94-109). This signifies Achilles’ zenith of anger and represents the turning point in the epic, along with the transition into his dramatic reversal as a character.
Hector’s pride caused him to be clouded with negative thoughts in his quest for revenge as he brutally slaughtered the Trojans and excessively tortured Hector. Nevertheless, Priam’s sorrow causes Achilles to empathize since he could imagine what it would be like if his father had to go through a similar situation like Priam. This change of heart causes Achilles to forgo hatred in exchange for compassion. Although Achilles shows flaws in his character, his heroism even in the brink of death along with this transformative change as a person demonstrates the cultural expectations of strong leadership in terms of taking physical and emotional qualities into strong consideration.
Beginning in Book 20 of The Iliad, Achilles’s actions shift from anger mingled with sorrow to
Achilles views as demonstrated before, clearly shows the change that has taken place in him, where once he would leaped at an opportunity to battle for glory and honor, now he shows reservation. Achilles is reluctant to risk his life on a fool's errand, for glory and honor. He is disenchanted about honor and all life effort to gain honor no matter how great it might be. He felt they were nothing but the personal honor and glory of others. But, of course, Achilles never actually leaves, although he threatens
Portions of modern society believe fate to be concrete and unchanging. However, in ancient times, it was believed to be influenced and guided by the actions of the gods. Similarly, in The Iliad by Homer, the actions of the gods influence the life, death, and fate of each and every individual. Gods such as Zeus, Athena and Apollo take great influence in human affairs in The Iliad. These actions cause life, death, sorrow, and triumph to befall various individuals of the story. Achilles’ fate results, solely, from these actions the gods undertake. In particular, the gods influence on Achilles’ fate shows when the gods keep Achilles from killing Agamemnon, staying out of the war, and holding onto his rage.
At the battle of Troy, Achilles chooses almost certain death in exchange for the honor of avenging Patroclus. As Socrates paraphrases, “when his mother said to him, as he was eager to slay Hector, ‘My son, if you avenge the death of your friend Patroclus and kill Hector, you yourself shall die; for straightway, after Hector, is death appointed unto you,” (The Apology, 28c). However, Socrates is relatively loose in his representation of Achilles. Homer’s Achilles is focused primarily on private affairs as seen when he only agrees to return to battle to avenge personal loss in the form of his “beloved” Patroclus (The Iliad, book 18, 120). Contrastingly, Socrates represents the Greek hero as being much more absorbed by the necessity of attaining honor and justice for both himself and his peers. Through this specific example, Socrates makes it apparent that, he, like Achilles before him, is both willing and able to die if that is what it takes to find truth. He will under no circumstances condemn any of his actions just to save his life.
He then returns the body to Priam and feels guilty about his friend. “Feel no anger at me, Patroclus, if you learn--- even there in the House of Death--- I let his father have Prince Hector back” (Homer). Achilles wants his friend to forgive him and once again has succumbed to the intense emotions he feel that are out of his control. These emotions have Achilles act on rage and impulse.
Although Achilles was quite outraged at this, he gave a respectful response, stating that he would drop out of the war because Agamemnon had dishonored him. Later, the Trojans killed Patroclus, Achilles’ dearest and most trusted friend. Achilles was overcome with grief, but realized how stubborn and selfish he was being by dropping out of the war. He decided that he had to join the war once again to honor Patroclus. He told his mother, “Enough. Let bygones be bygones. Done is done. Despite my anguish I will beat it down, the fury mounting inside me, down by force. But now I’ll go and meet that murderer head-on, that Hector who destroyed the dearest life I know.” It is clear that he knew that in those ancient times, a real hero avenged the death of a dear friend, and would sacrifice his own life to save the dead body and give it a proper burial.
The Iliad during the Trojan war is a very interesting story that could cause debate upon fellow readers. It brings up a lot of questions and thoughts about the gods and greeks of this time period, such as what is more important to them, justice or mercy? Also, it highlights the view that they have on war and whether it is tragic or glorious to them. During the Iliad, justice and mercy both play very important roles throughout the multiple books and are seen by different characters during the war. Also, it shows what the gods are like and how they view themselves and humans.
In death’s atrocity, Achilles and the Athenians turn towards their self-interests in hopes to regain control and dignity. Achilles withdraws from the army in hopes they will recognize his worth, thus restoring honor to him. The Greeks “were stricken with unendurable grief” yet his “proud spirit” kept him from letting go of his anger. (Il. 9.4, 259). His inability to understand his mortality and resulting lack of philotēs “pitched countless souls of heroes into Hades’ dark” (Il. 1.3-4). Falling into fits of self-pity, Achilles is unable to recognize others’ sufferings, even of his own people. He complains to his mother that Agamemnon “has taken away [his] prize and dishonored” him and playing a lyre by the shore, away from the war displaying death’s reality (Il. 1.370). In his isolating mēnis, Achilles hardens into an apathetic death-like figure. Similarly, the Athenians begin to lack pity as their city turned towards “unprecedented lawlessness,… acts of self-indulgence,” and immorality during the plague (HPW 2.53). The Athenians even abandon their own people in fear of falling ill as well. Their civilization reveals it shallow-nature as they result to only considering present desires as honorable. In the face
Through his actions in the Iliad, Achilles proves himself to be a very linear, and one dimensional hero, relying on singular solutions to solve any challenge. In one of the very first interactions with Achilles in the Iliad, Odysseus and other captains are sent to persuade Achilles to join the fray. Achilles retorts, “I hate that man like the very Gates of Death who says one thing but hides another in his heart,” (Homer, 377-380). Clearly, Achilles prefers a straightforward and honest approach towards life as well as battle. Being a
This decision of prideful betrayal brings many casualties to the Achaean army. Once Agamemnon apologetically offers Achilles many valuable gifts along with the return of his war prize, Achilles refuses. In this rejection, Achilles is putting his own animosity toward Agamemnon above the needs of his fellow Achaeans. His friend Phoenix tells him to think of his diminishing honor, but Achilles answers, “…what do I need with honor such as that ?/ … It degrades you to curry favor with [Agamemnon],/ and I will hate you for it, I who love you./ It does you proud to stand by me, my friend,/ to attack the man who attacks me…”(p 147). Not only does Achilles reject honor, but he egotistically asks his father figure, Phoenix, to give up his in order to take his side.
Central to any study of the humanities is the human condition – our nature, which has historically shown that it is equally capable of both good and evil deeds – and the problem that arises from it; specifically, why do humans suffer? Many philosophies and religions have their own account for this aspect of humanity, and we find that what the accounts have in common is each explains the human condition in terms that are similar to how that institution of thought explains the true nature of reality.
In the Greek society, Achilles has the role of the aggressive soldier. From the very first lines of the epic, we are introduced to Achilles’ murderous rage:
But on the other hand, Homer wants to show that the abscence of anger can lead to good actions and help to make right decisions. It is well presented when after the reconciliation Achilles becomes more then just a warrior hero. His wrath consists of two waves. First, is his withdrawal from the battle because of the conflict with Agamemnon ends when he finally accepts his offer and reaches agreement about Briseis. Second Achilles' wave of anger is about the death of Patroklos, which ends when he returns the body of a dead Hector to Priam. In both examples the wrath of Achilles alianated him from others. In the firt case he was alienated from his warriors. And from everybody in the second case. In each case, his reconciliation helps him to get back to the society. If