In Book 22, Achilles demonstrates mindless rage as he desecrates the body of the Trojan warrior and son of King Priam, Hector. This violates Greek funeral rites, which say that a warrior of Hectors status, like Patroklos before him, should receive a proper burial. Achilles' rage over the death of Patroklos, however, prevents him from having compassion for a fellow warrior, namely Hector. Priam attempts to ransom his son's body and, in turn, reawaken a sense of compassion in Achilles, who had become vengeful after his quarrel with Agamemnon and Hectors slaying of Patroklos.
In essence, the wrath of Achilles allows Homer to present and develop, within the cultural framework of heroic honor see Critical Essay 1the ideas of strife, alienation, and reconciliation.
Second, the wrath of Achilles sets him up in clear contrast to his great Trojan counterpart in the story — Hektor. When considering these three basic ideas that result from the wrath of Achilles, readers can see a grand design in the work that centers not so much on war as on the growth and development of an individual character.
Achilles wrath is initiated by his sense of honor. Honor for the Greeks, and specifically heroes, as readers have seen, existed on different levels.
Fourth, and finally, the Greeks could obtain everlasting fame and glory for their accomplishments in life. The wrath of Achilles is based on each of these concepts.
Underlying the idea of honor is another Greek concept — strife, personified by the goddess Eris. For the Greeks, life was based on the idea of strife and turmoil. To try to avoid strife was to avoid life.
A good life could be achieved by reconciling the factors that produced strife. However, war, nature, personality — everything — contained elements of strife that may not be completely reconcilable.
This more elemental strife could lead to evil. His parents, the goddess Thetis and the mortal Peleus, invite all the gods to their wedding except Eris strife. Eris, however, like the evil witch in fairy tales, attends anyway and tosses out the golden apple marked, "For the Fairest.
On a more personal level, Achilles himself is an embodiment of stressful opposites. One parent is mortal; one a goddess. Consequently, he knows both mortality and immortality. He knows he must die, but he also has a sense of the eternal.
He knows that if he avoids the war he can live a long life, but that if he fights, he will die young. He knows that glory and eternal fame can be his only through early death in war while long life can be secured only by giving up the ultimate glory a Greek seeks.
At first, Achilles attempts to avoid the Trojan War by pretending to be a woman; but, as in a number of instances, his attempts to avoid an action lead directly to that action.
Agamemnon takes Briseis from Achilles. In response, Achilles withdraws from the war, producing greater strife, both personally and within the larger context of the war.
Achilles cannot reconcile his desire to fight honorably with his companions with his justifiable, but increasingly petulant, anger at Agamemnon.
As a result of his inner conflict, his alienation from his society, and his inability to resolve this conflict, Achilles sends his companion Patroklos into battle as an alter ego.
Patroklos even wears the armor of Achilles so that the Trojans will believe that Achilles has returned to battle.
Patroklos is killed, and the turmoil within Achilles is magnified. Achilles sent Patroklos into battle instead of going himself; now he bears responsibility for the death of his friend.
Also, now the Trojans are so empowered that they appear poised to win the conflict with the Greeks. At this point, Achilles resolves the strife that led to his initial wrath but also begins the even greater wrath that results in the death of Hektor and almost takes Achilles beyond the bounds of humanity.
Achilles is torn by his own responsibilities in the death of Patroklos and his hatred of the Trojans, specifically Hektor, who actually killed Patroklos. In the last five books of the Iliad, this conflict is transformed into the superhuman rage that Achilles displays as a warrior.
After killing Hektor, Achilles allows his rage to move beyond death to desecration as he mutilates, time and again, the corpse of Hektor.Transformation Of Achilles In The Iliad Homer, throughout The Iliad, illustrates that although it can be difficult to reach, the rough road to compassion is noble and 4/4(1).
Transformation Of Achilles In The Iliad Homer, throughout The Iliad, illustrates that although it can be difficult to reach, the rough road to compassion is noble and ultimately superior to the easier paths of anger and rage.4/4(1). Achilles Transformation In The Iliad Foley 12/8/14 Term Paper The Myth of Achilles The myth of Achilles, the great Greek warrior of the Trojan War, is focused on his awesome power and destructive capabilities.
The Iliad - Achilles. Before it was written, The Iliad was a poem told orally by the Greeks. The Iliad presents modern day readers Search Essays ; Transformation Of Achilles In The Iliad Homer, throughout The Iliad, illustrates that although it can be difficult to reach, the rough road to compassion/5(1).
Free Essays - Character of Achilles in Homer's Iliad - Character of Achilles in Homer's Iliad The Iliad may be seen as an account of the circumstances that irrevocably alter the life of one man: Achilles, one of the greatest warriors.
The main theme of the Iliad is stated in the first line, as Homer asks the Muse to sing of the "wrath of Achilles." This wrath, all its permutations, transformations, influences, and consequences, makes up the themes of the Iliad.
In essence, the wrath of Achilles allows Homer to present and develop.