The Death Of Rage In Homer's The Iliad

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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. Agamemnon’s taking of Briseis enrages Achilles and spurs him to remove himself from the war, leading to a massive death toll in the Achaean forces. In stealing Briseis from Achilles, he is not only robbing of him of a material prize, but also a symbol of honor, his geras, in Greek culture. In retaliation, Achilles removes himself from the war and prays to his mother, Thetis, that she will ask Zeus to damage the Achaean forces. Achilles’ only goal is that “even mighty Atrides can see how mad he was to disgrace Achilles” (1.488-490). Despite having no true grievance against the Achaean army as a whole, Achilles’ rage blinds him from the potential harm that may befall his troops. Achilles only wishes to get revenge on Agamemnon, no matter the consequences for his own soldiers. Instead of considering the possible backfire of his rash actions, Achilles sacrifices the Achaean army purely
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