Achille's Emotions

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 99
  • Published : April 17, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Spring
13
Spring
13
University of Miami
University of Miami
Midtem #1/ENG 201-N
Anchita Sanan
#1. Discuss the character of Achilles in Homer’s Iliad. What is the nature of the existential crisis in which he finds himself, and why is his relationship to both gods and the other Greek warriors so unusual? What realization does he arrive at during his period of withdrawal from the battlefield? What does it mean to say that he is probably the first true individual as well as the first “problem character,” in Western literature? Finally, discuss the reader’s response to his behavior. In what ways does Achilles repel our human sympathies? In what ways does he maintain or regain them? In this context you will certainly want to discuss his behavior toward Hector as well as his final meeting with Priam. Midtem #1/ENG 201-N

Anchita Sanan
#1. Discuss the character of Achilles in Homer’s Iliad. What is the nature of the existential crisis in which he finds himself, and why is his relationship to both gods and the other Greek warriors so unusual? What realization does he arrive at during his period of withdrawal from the battlefield? What does it mean to say that he is probably the first true individual as well as the first “problem character,” in Western literature? Finally, discuss the reader’s response to his behavior. In what ways does Achilles repel our human sympathies? In what ways does he maintain or regain them? In this context you will certainly want to discuss his behavior toward Hector as well as his final meeting with Priam. 08

Fall
08
Fall

Love and Hate. Pain and Pleasure. Fear and Confidence. These are all emotions that are experienced by living things. Some of us are more susceptible to these emotions than others. In Homer’s Iliad, one of the main characters, Achilles, is especially prone to these emotions. His emotions vary from one extreme to the other. Despite being considered to be one of the strongest warriors, a figure feared by the Trojans, Achilles isn’t as perfect as he appears to be. He is a man who is ruled more often by his emotions than he is by his brain. His emotions blind him to an extent and make his actions appear to be less than noble and portray him as a man with close to no integrity.

The son of the King of Gods, Zeus, and the Nymph Thetis, Achilles is flawed deeply. In Book I, Agamemnon and Achilles quarrel with one another after Achilles suggests that Agamemnon return “bright eyed” Chryseis to her father in order to appease Apollo and to consequently halt the plague that is raining upon them. Enraged by Achilles suggestion, Agamemnon agrees to return the girl to her father, on the condition that he get another prize to replace the girl. Achilles argues that there are no gifts that are left to pass around, that once they pillage another town, they will compensate Agamemnon three times as much. This leads to an argument between the two men, with accusations flying around. Agamemnon perceives Achilles suggestion as a way for Achilles to obtain more gifts, and demands a gift of equal, if not more, value in return. Sharp-tongued Achilles retaliates, calling Agamemnon an “insatiable creature,” claiming that he has done nothing to offend the Trojans and yet here he is, taking part in a war that has nothing to do with him but everything to do with Agamemnon and Menelaus. “When we Achaeans loot some well-built Trojan town, my prizes never match the ones you get. The major share of war’s fury rests on me. But when we hand around the battle spoils, you get much larger trophies.” Already there is a seed that has been planted within Achilles’ heart, a seed that will bear bitterness and anger as its fruit. In his anger, Achilles’ steps away from the war, taking himself completely out of the course of it, with plans to return to his home. Upon hearing this, Agamemnon threatens to take away Briseis, the woman that was given to Achilles. So overcome by his anger is Achilles that he debates...
tracking img