Achilles was sometimes a great warrior, but could be seen as very selfish. He could be seen this way by his family, peers, and fellow soldiers fighting with him. Achilles was not fully selfish, because he had a few accomplishments that made him a person to look up to. Achilles was a great Greek hero, but no warrior is ever perfect. In book one of the Iliad, the Greek King of Mycenae, Agamemnon, took a woman named Chryseis, angering Achilles. Achilles was promised Briseis would become his wife. Achilles was furious with Agamemnon, but Agamemnon would only return Chryseis if he got Briseis in return ( ). A reason Achilles was selfish was because he was angry that Agamemnon took Chryseis. Achilles was angry that it hurt his pride. Achilles seemed to have a compassionate side, but of course he was not perfect. There was another Achaian fighter that became acquainted with Achilles named Patroclus. Achilles was not fighting in the war at the moment when he first encountered Patroclus. In book 6 of the Iliad, some of the mightiest fighters start to get wounded. Patroclus could not stand to see the devestation anymore, so he asked Achilles to wear his armor to strike fear into the Trojans ( ). …show more content…
Achilles let him because Patroclus was fighting against Agamemnon and Achilles had a very clear history with him. Achilles wanted Patroclus to defeat Agamemnon because he backed out of fighting in the war. While wearing the armor, Patroclus killed countless numbers of Trojans, including Paris, a powerful prince of Troy. Although he wore his armor, Patroclus was not always exactly loyal to his friend Achilles. In book 11 of the Iliad, Patroclus calls Achilles a terrible man. Patroclus respects Achilles, but does not approve of his rude manor. Achilles was selfish because he only helped a friend so he could try and defeat an enemy he could not defeat on his own. Achilles did not appreciate
Misopeliades tell the men that he thinks it’s a bad idea for Achilles to go and fight in war because he never does anything right. Misopeliades feels Achilles will only make things worse than what they are already. Misopeliades thinks he is only thinking of going to the war because he wants to be seen as respected by his people. The whole war wouldn’t be as bad if Achilles didn’t become so enraged over such a little situation.
Patroclus tries to persuade Achilles by telling him to “at least send him out, let him lead a troop of Myrmidons” so that he can “light the way for their army” (Homer 16.43-44). Patroclus expresses that he loves the Greeks too much to just sit around at the camp. He feels very emotional for his friend, so he wants to take his place and fight this war for him. Patroclus still has a mindset that “If the Trojans think” he is Achilles then “they’ll back off and give the Greeks some breathing space” (Homer 16.44-46). Patroclus believes his cleverness can outdo the Trojans in battle.
However, Priam sought hospitality and mercy rather than revenge. Hospitality is also important because of its link with honor and glory, another common theme in the Iliad. By combining the theme of honor into situations that also relate to hospitality, characters can make concrete points and develop the story. Achilles, when being to rejoin the army by Phoenix in book nine, is hospitable, however, he is also concerned with his honor as Agamemnon had just dishonored him. The combination of these two themes allow Achilles to make the point that he will be hospitable to his friends and fellow soldiers but due to the slight on his honor he will not be able to forgive Agamemnon.
As long as a villain exists in a story, there will always be a heroine. So, you might ask, how exactly is a heroine defined by people? A hero according to the English dictionary is someone who possesses a courageous and honorable spirit, but also a person who has attributes, abilities, or unique characteristics that make individuals look up to them. With this in mind, throughout the many epics we have read so far, there have been several heroines such as Gilgamesh, Rama, Sita, Achilles, and Hector, but Gilgamesh and Achilles are the two characters in these epics that are extremely alike and different in so many ways. In particular, Gilgamesh and Achilles were both prideful and full of themselves alike in that matter, but they both were different in affluent power and overwhelming strength, which made them a heroine to fellow humans because of their superhuman abilities, high personal relationships, and great influence over people.
Achilles anger increase with the death of patrocles by him wanting to kill all of the Trojans. Achilles started to throw their bodies in the river which displayed that he showed no remorse or compassion for them. Achilles treated Hector’s body as if he wasn’t a person. He dragged him and kept torturing him for twelve days even thought he was already dead. The burial of hector is a symbol of how Achilles anger is calming down.
Eventually Patroclus gets killed. Achilles is humiliated and regrets his actions. He vows to avenge Patroclus’ death. His humility causes him to fight to redeem himself, he returns back to the path of being a hero. These examples are only a few of the many that are in the Iliad, but they explain exactly what hubris
In the Iliad, Achilles is responding to Odysseus’s speech attempting to convince him to return to the war. Achilles’ main argument against returning is his incalculable rage against Agamemnon for “the prize of honor / The warlord Agamemnon gave me / And in his insulting arrogance took back” which is not only an insult to Achilles’ status, but also to his honor as a warrior (Il. 9.378-379). In addition to focusing on the main argument of Achilles’ speech, it is worth noting the contradictions present within his speech as well.
James Galetti Professor Russell Western Heritage 1 05 October 2016 Is Achilles’ rage justified? In the Iliad, the character of Achilles has numerous character flaws that cause him to have blinded judgement towards his actions as well as shutting out everyone around within the epic poem. Achilles’ rage keeps him from being the hero that we were supposed to see him as.
Patroclus was killed by Hector while he was under the impression Patroclus was Achilles, “But I’ll tell you something else— bear this in mind—you’ll not live long yourself. Your death is already standing close at hand, a fatal power. For you’ll be destroyed at brave Achilles’ hands, descendant of Aeacus” (Homer, Iliad 16. 989-993), this foresight shared by dying Patroclus shows Achilles will kill Hector in search of retribution. Since Hector killed Achilles best friend Achilles doesn't care about pride anymore, just revenge.
The epic poem, The Iliad written by Homer shows the conflicts and events that occurred between the Greeks and Trojans during the Trojan War. Among both sides there are warriors who follow a distinct code, known as the heroic code. This Heroic code helps portray the characteristics of the warriors and their perspective on war. This distinct code is composed of many elements such as arete, acceptance of fate, honour, excellence in war, leadership, courage and power. These traits are shown within the main warriors, Hector and Achilles throughout the epic war poem and helps to guide their decisions.
Book 21 focused heavily on setting up for the audience and everyone around him that the entire reason he was there was to avenge his best friend and make sure that everyone responsible paid for his death. One particular quote caught my attention as being a good explanation, stating “No, you’ll all die, die ugly deaths, until you have paid for the Greeks’ loss, for Patroclus dead, killed by the ships while I was away” (Iliad, Book 21, 141-43). He also exposes his motive for why he feels he must avenge Patroclus- he feels responsible for not being there when Patroclus died, possibly able to prevent him from meeting such a fate. Now he is taking out his anger over Patroclus’ death on all Trojans and refuses to show any of them mercy. Going beyond just seeking revenge, he’s also continuing to partake in the aforementioned brutal violence.
In Homer’s The Iliad, epic hero Achilles serves as an example of how rage, when unchecked, leads to disastrous repercussions. Achilles, though nearly superhuman in his physical abilities, struggles repeatedly to contain his anger. Throughout The Iliad, as Achilles’ fury compounds, the consequences of his actions become catastrophic, eventually leading to the death of his best friend, Patroclus. Although Achilles ultimately chooses to avenge Patroclus’ death and achieve his own kleos, or honor, his rage-driven actions lead to the death of many Achaean soldiers, and change the course of his fate.
Achilles is seen to be full of wrath in the beginning of the book. This wrath is not caused only because Agamemnon takes his prize of war. He is angry at the system which allows Agamemnon to play around with other people’s honors and the system which allows him to decide who gets how much honor. In other words, Achilles does not like the idea that someone else can decide what happens to his honor, despite him deserving most of the honor in relation to how much he contributes in war. As the story proceeds, Achilles seems to contradict himself a lot, and the concept of honor helps us understand this better.
If I stay here and fight before the city of Troy, there will be no home- coming for me but my fame shall never die; if I go home to my native land, there will be no great fame for me, but I shall live long and not die an early death.” (Homer 110) This shows that he is selfishness and fearful at the same time of losing and dying in the war. In the very beginning of the Iliad, King Agamemnon and Achilles have an argument for a couple of different reasons. After, the Achians won a battle against a city that was allied with the Trojans each of them received a prize consisted of a young woman from the war.
Iliad is recognized as one of the most famous ancient monuments of literature. The full understanding of this epic poem is hardly possible without thorough analysis of its main characters. Among all the episodes of the Trojan War, Homer chooses the moment of Achilles’ wrath and thus creates a poem in which he becomes the central figure. From the Ancient Greeks’ point of view, Achilles represents the ideal of manliness and pure heroism, for he is brave and fights for heroics, not profits. Today, one can agree with this interpretation, yet Achilles is probably the most controversial character because he combines various personality traits and acts in accordance with his ambiguous nature.