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Iliad Essays Achilles

The Iliad: Achilles' Rage Essays

1052 Words5 Pages

`Rage--Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles'

The first line of the Iliad describes a human emotion that leads to doom and destruction in Homer's poetic tale of the Trojan War. Achilles' rage is a major catalyst in the action in the Iliad. It is his rage that makes him both withdraw from and, later, rejoin the war with a fury. Why is Achilles enraged? Is his rage ignited solely by his human adversaries or do the gods destine him to the experience? Achilles' rage has many facets. His rage is a personal choice and, at times, is created by the gods.

The Iliad begins with the clash between Achilles and Agamemnon. Agamemnon has little, if any, respect for the gods. This is displayed by his irreverent…show more content…

Achilles questions himself, "Should he draw the long sharp sword slung at his hip, thrust through the ranks and kill Agamemnon now?--or check his rage and beat his fury down?" (108). Here, Hera has Athena intervene to keep Achilles from killing Agamemnon, which shows how the gods control Achilles' destiny. The argument between Achilles and Agamemnon clearly shows that the two men have different opinions about the power of the gods, what is holy or unholy, and what is proper treatment of other men. These differences are one source of Achilles' rage.

Achilles is also angry at having to fight another man's battle. The Trojan War is being fought because Paris stole Helen, Agamemnon's sister-in-law. In his argument with Agamemnon, Achilles points out "It wasn't Trojan spearmen who brought me here to fight. The Trojans never did me damage, not in the least" (107). Achilles' rage heightens in the argument and he declares "No, you colossal, shameless--we all followed you, to please you, to fight for you, to win your honor back from the Trojans---Menelaus and you, you dog-face!" (108). Achilles is also angry because even though he and many other soldiers are there risking their lives for Agamemnon and Menelaus, Agamemnon is sly enough to avoid personal injury. Achilles says to Agamemnon, "Never once did you arm with the troops and go to battle or risk an ambush packed with Achaea's picked men--you lack the courage, you can see death

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Essay on Achilles: The Tragic Hero of The Iliad

669 Words3 Pages

Achilles can be described as a Tragic Hero in many ways. He was brave and had great strength but, he was also prideful and lacked control with his emotions, and in all the label of a tragic hero fits him. A Tragic hero is “a literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy” (“Tragic Hero”). To many men Achilles was god-like, and immortal, the epitome of a hero to the Greeks, he was strong, brave in the face of war, and of noble birth because he was the son of a goddess. In the Iliad, Achilles, driven by anger seeks revenge on Hector for killing his “dearest comrade” (“The Heroic Age”), Patroclus, whom he claims to have valued more than his own life. He…show more content…

Achilles can be described as a Tragic Hero in many ways. He was brave and had great strength but, he was also prideful and lacked control with his emotions, and in all the label of a tragic hero fits him. A Tragic hero is “a literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy” (“Tragic Hero”). To many men Achilles was god-like, and immortal, the epitome of a hero to the Greeks, he was strong, brave in the face of war, and of noble birth because he was the son of a goddess. In the Iliad, Achilles, driven by anger seeks revenge on Hector for killing his “dearest comrade” (“The Heroic Age”), Patroclus, whom he claims to have valued more than his own life. He avenges his friend by killing Hector.
Achilles can be defined as a hero in the sense that he fought for his friend and he got the revenge that he wanted. He avenged his true friend by killing the man who killed him. Achilles was a brave soldier in battle and wept when his friend was killed. Being the “hero” that everyone thought he was, he cried to his mother whom said that he should not go to avenge his friend because he was “doomed to a short life […] your death must come at once” (Homer). This can be taken into consideration when describing his heroicness, because he did not heed the warning his mother gave him, instead he basically said that he should die then because he could not save his friend. It is “brave” of Achilles to want to

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