Loss Of Achilles In The Iliad

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Achilles possesses godlike invincibility, however it is his weaknesses that have made him remembered in history. In mythology, it is his human traits which resonated with the values of the ancient Greeks. His grief following the death of Patroclus and his rage towards Hector allow the audience to identify with Achilles. He redeemed himself by showing respect towards his enemy and towards the gods. It is through these events, and not his victories on the battlefield, Achilles became a hero.

It is his torment and suffering which makes Achilles a compassionate figure. The Iliad is a chronicle of Achilles' grief and rage. After the death of Patroclus, Achilles kills Hector. Before his death, Hector begged Achilles to return his body to his
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An amphora, shown in figure 1, depicts Achilles dragging the body of Hector behind his chariot. Watching from above is the winged god, Hermes, who has come to intervene. After twelve days of mutilating the corpse, the gods request Achilles return the body to King Priam. This depiction of Hermes shows the importance of the gods' will. Achilles not only returns the body of Hector, he also agrees to a twelve-day truce with the Trojans to allow them to conduct funeral rites. We are able to understand the values of a society through their myths. By showing respect to his enemy and following the will of the gods, Achilles shows strength of character. He must first be a great man before he can become a great hero.

The portrayal of Achilles' human qualities is what made him a compelling character to the Greeks. Through viewing his rage and suffering, the audience is able to see their own flaws represented in him. Despite his flaws, Achilles is required to redeem himself in order to be remembered as a hero. Achilles' humanity made him an important mythological figure who was considered part of the history of ancient Greece. Through understanding the ancient Greeks' perception of Achilles, we are able to understand how their values have influenced our
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