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The Epic Of The Iliad

Decent Essays
Throughout the epic of the Iliad, there are a multitude of moral lessons. It is a story of war, loss, love, and forgiveness. The main character, Achilles, faces many difficult decisions where he is faced with discerning what is right and what is wrong. This is the focus of the epic in whole, but there is a definite emphasis on morality in Book 24. In this book, not only does Achilles face this struggle, but Priam as well. The vision of morality that emerges from the Iliad is understanding the importance of forgiveness. Homer uses the Iliad as an ethical guide for readers. He shows how making the right moral choice, forgiving, leads to closure and a more peaceful life.
In Book 24 of the Iliad, Achilles gets a visit from a man named Priam.
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Homer is using Priam to portray a mindset for his readers of a sympathetic and compassionate attitude to have even after something terrible has happened. This is his way of teaching that forgiving is the moral thing to do. It is evident that forgiveness of enemies is important to Homer and an influential lesson to the Mycenaean people.
Along with Priam overcoming his feelings and forgiving Achilles, Achilles has to learn to forgive himself and give Hector 's body back. "With these words he awoke in Achilles a longing to weep for his own father. Taking the old man 's hand, Achilles gently put him from him, and they were both overcome by their memories:" (40.) Achilles feels empathy toward Priam 's loss because he lost his own father. Achilles also seems to feel a bit of guilt for killing Hector when Priam shows so much respect. Achilles must forgive himself in order to understand how Priam has forgiven him. Homer uses this to show that even the strong feel weak at times. Priam encouraged Achilles to relate to his feelings and through that, Achilles was able to put himself in Priam 's shoes and finally agree to give Hector 's body to his father. The notion of compassion that is implied in this book is relatable to readers. Everyone faces loss in life and it usually results in blame, anger, and questioning. Achilles is an example of overcoming those things. He overcomes his ego and his spite towards Priam for having the nerve
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