The Character Achilles in Homer's The Iliad

993 Words4 Pages
The Character Achilles in Homer's The Iliad

"The first book of The Iliad, appropriately titled the "Rage of Achilles," sets the scene for the remainder of the epic" ( "This rage is invoked by pride, a theme of pivotal importance for the Greeks. Pride is the source of the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon in Book 1. The incident that provoked Achilles rage took place in the tenth and final year of the Achaean attack on Troy. The king is angered by what he sees as a challenge to his authority. He is furious at Calchas for indicting Agamemnon as the cause of the plague. Rather than graciously admit his mistake, the king becomes monstrous and demands compensation for
…show more content…
Hector killed him. This drove Achilles over the edge and he entered the battle to kill Patroclus' killer -- which he did. Achilles continues to mutilate the corpse of Hector, while the gods continue to preserve it" (Approaches of Teaching Homer's Iliad).

"Finally, the gods agree that Achilles should accept an immense ransom for the return of the body, so Hermes guides Priam to Achilles' tent, so that Priam can make his case, and present his ransom, in person. "


"Priam pleads with Achilles to remember his mortal parent, and recognize that every human being, even the most blessed and most powerful king, must suffer loss just as Achilles has. Achilles is still angry and still willful: he declares himself ready to disobey the gods, should he so choose, and he gives Priam instructions as to the precise limits of what he will and will not bear" ( In short, he is himself. But his rage has finally abated. He can share his pain with another, and he is ready to go on living, even though that means he must be ready to die soon.

"Priam must realize, Achilleus implies, that there is no human achievement whatsoever unless Zeus allows it. The power of Zeus is supreme. In the end the Muse conveys in the Iliad, the glory of Achilleus is secure, in spite of, and because of, the will of Zeus" (Approaches of Teaching Homer's

More about The Character Achilles in Homer's The Iliad

Get Access