Achilles The Fifth Circle Of Hell Analysis

Good Essays
Achilles and the fifth circle of hell

Two epics written centuries apart unknown to each other are yet strongly tied by shared themes and complementing insights, Homer 's Iliad and Dante Alliguiries Divine Comedia. Both works have a high regard for the concept of balance. In the Iliad the concept of balance versus imbalance takes place of the normal concept of “good” or “evil”, heroes and gods strive to maintain balance and rectify situations of imbalance. In the Divine Comedia balance is shown through the restoration of justice in the contrapassos. Homer’s central character Achilles characterizes wrath and sullen fiery in a way that offers complementing insights to the fifth contrapasso of Dante 's Commedia. Achilles is a portrait of both the wrathful and sullen souls that suffer in the fifth circle of hell. Whereas Achilles devolves into an individual, as he isolates himself in rage, the souls in Dante 's fifth contrapasso are a collective whole, fighting against themselves in uncontrollable wrath or bubbling in an indistinguishable swamp of sulking anger.

Imbalance first comes to play in the Iliad when Agamemnon refuses to honor Chryses pleas to return his daughter. Agamemnon causes an imbalance which Chryses tries to reactify by praying to Apollo for balance to be restored by the deaths of
…show more content…
Despite the centuries separating them The Iliad and the Commedia both stress the importance of balance as a divinely ordered phenomenon. Achilles in the Iliad characterizes both a wrathful and a sullen soul found in Dante’s fifth contrapasso. The difference being Achilles showing the isolation that sin gives the living. As Dante illustrates the collective whole that all the wrathful and sulking souls become, indistinguishable, naked and either combative or bubbling in a living swamp. The portrait Homer gives of anger in Achilles is most helpful in understanding the forms anger can take. The balance emphasized in both epics points to the importance of consequence to
Get Access