Achilles Arrogance In The Iliad

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As tempting as it is to admire the aura of Achilles as a great war hero, his character flaws, as outlined throughout The Iliad, prove his actions to be no more heroic than they are merciless acts of rage. Driven primarily by personal glory, Achilles will do anything for his name to be remembered through time. As great as he is on the battlefield, he ultimately fails as a hero on the grounds of poor morality, dishonourable behaviour, and a severe insensitivity towards his love for Patroclus. Achilles lead a life of malicious and violent behaviour, revealing little to no moral conduct. The death of his lover Patroclus unleashed a rage that provoked perhaps the most cruel of all his mean spirited endeavours, the mutilation of Hectors body and…show more content…
Achilles is a man without honour, a gifted warrior but one who fights for nothing. This may be his single greatest downfall. In book one of Homers The Iliad, it is evident that Achilles’ arrogance overflows to the point where he makes an irrational decision to abandon Agamemnon and the greek forces in a time of war. “Now I shall go to Phthia, since it would be much better that I return home with my beaked ships. I don't intend to stay here to pile up wealth and riches for you without honour”(The Iliad, 1, 169-171). Achilles, angered that Agamemnon is claiming his war prize, Briseis, can barely restrain his rage. He threatens to leave the war knowing that he is very well responsible for their success in it. At this point in the book, the Gods haven't entirely grown angry with Achilles and Athena even goes out of her way to guide Achilles to not attack Agamemnon. The scene is essentially a power struggle where Achilles is unable to look past his own pride. He cannot stand to feel less powerful than Agamemnon, thus like a child he stomps off and with him, his elite group of skilled warriors, the Myrmidons. This dishonourable act reiterates that Achilles is no hero, rather just a skilled warrior who enjoys killing for
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