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
Beowulf is even tempered and is willing to sacrifice his men to win any battle that comes his way. While Achilles has a short temper, and is offended by the losses of his men during battle. For example, Beowulf is not effected by the loss of all the men that Grendel has killed over the past twelve years, while Achilles cries for his men who are lost in battle. This shows one difference between Beowulf and Achilles’s personality. Achilles has a short temper, therefore when Hector kills Patroclus, Achilles is heartbroken, but it also very angry and wants revenge.
However, Patroclus ignoring Achilles’ command, pursues and reaches the gates of Troy and is killed by Hector. As a result, Achilles fills with such a grief and rage that he rejoin battle. After slaying many Trojans and fighting God of river Xanthus, Achilles slays Hector. Then he lashes his body to back of his chariot and drags it across the battlefield to Achaean camp. That was the second revenge action, which happens in the Iliad.
War brings out the best in Homer’s heroes, as they tap previously unknown reserves of strength, courage, and loyalty. But war also can bring out the worst in men. The theme of honor and masculinity is very strong that it overshadows the barbarity and unavoidable death or war. If they don’t battle it is considered an insult to masculinity. Achilles is driven by pride, anger and grief which leads him to go to war.
Achilles was a fierce warrior and the son of Thetis. Achilles was a very respectable warrior but he didn’t like fighting for anyone but himself. When Helen was taken from Agamemnon required Achilles to fight but he just stayed at the boats. Patroclus, Achilles cousin, came to Achilles and asked if he could use Achilles armor in war to scare the Trojans. This ended badly because hector realized it wasn’t Achilles and killed Patroclus.
For Beowulf, this is unacceptable and he gathers a few warriors to help kill the dragon. During the fight, Beowulf’s sword is no match for the dragon. This is when Wiglaf, the bravest of his men comes to help Beowulf kill the dragon. The duel between Beowulf and the dragon is his third and final battle that eventually ends his life. “So every man should act, be at hand when needed; but now, for the king, this would be the last of his many labors and triumphs in the world” (183).
Gilgamesh is somewhat bitter with the fact that only gods are able to live forever. When he thinks about death he is very uncomfortable because he feels that he is a mighty warrior of a man and the only thing that will ultimately end him is death. We also see how the death of his beloved friend Enkidu drives him to the edge of the earth in attempt to prolong or completely liberate himself from the same fate. This is a valuable lesson for mankind throughout history. No matter what you may feel or become in the
While his plot to get to the throne succeeds his newfound power only works against him and the wills of the common people eventually leading to his downfall. The Macbeth who was described by Duncan in previous scenes as his “worthiest cousin (1.4.17)” a man who was said to be brave, courageous, and dedicated to his king and country is lost. He becomes mistrustful of everyone, killing anyone whom he perceives as a threat. Each of his vices continue to grow until he has left Scotland in turmoil and ruin. The great kingdom for which he fought for is now a memory.
Malouf describes the actions of Achilles’ as to be vengeance to soften grief of losing his dear friend Patroclus, through the slaughter of Trojan prisoners and the defiling of Hector’s body. His body symbolises how revenge is not the answer to battle as nothing is gained except more pain and suffering, an incorporation on Malouf’s view on war. Priam’s state of despair was rooted in the effects of war, the fact that his son had died as a result of war and was being held by Achilles; showcasing mortality. When relying his new idea to Hecuba, he states, “it is true that the gods make me a king, but they also made me a man, and mortal,” showcasing the prospect of death as motivation. Displaying an underlying emotional motivation that allows Priam to break free of the conventional bonds.
make the rest of the trojans sit down by me, and all the achaians, and yourself call forth one of the achaians, their bravest, to fight man to man against you in bitter combat. Since it is not your destiny yet to die and encounter fate. for thus I heard it in the speech of the gods everlasting." Yet when Hectors fate finally comes it is utterly grim. Hector's end is so tragic because he holds so much shame because of his brash decision for the Trojans to stay outside their walls the previous night.