Achilles and the Greek Era

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Achilles, son of Peleus, King of Myrmidons, and Thetis, sea nymph, comes to Troy as part of a Greek force led by King Agamemnon. Unlike most protagonists, Achilles does not develop significantly over the course of the epic.

“Swift” Achilles, having been a famed and valiant soldier, was sought after and loved by all, except his adversary Agamemnon. He was a prominent warrior known for his great strength that actually caused the Achaeans to win many battles. How was Achilles such a bloodlust hero? A hero is one who is “admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” This warrior is all three of these points. Achilles’ honorable attitude for his loved ones, bravery in times of adversity, and as the definition states, “outstanding achievements” make him a hero beyond recognition.

Living in a difficult age full of war and death, Achilles tried to hold dear to the time he still had with his loved ones by remembering to treat them with an honorable attitude. During the Trojan War, having glory and honor was looked upon with great respect, so he would try to grasp this glory and honor with his honorable approach to his friends and family.

Achilles had humanlike characteristics. He fought and risked his life for the people, many descendants from God themselves. Achilles was one of the most vital characters in the story. Being the ultimate most powerful warrior of all time, he wishes for nothing in his life but to be the most glorious man alive, mortal or immortal. It is this profound desire for glory and honor, that in the end leads to his demise. He helped to raised the Greek soldiers’ moral and was an excellent fighter. He fights to save his city, and believes in preconceived notions of his life, or predetermined destiny. Instead of fulfilling his desires, he fulfills those already given to him. Fate does not determine every action, incident, and occurrence, but it does determine the outcome of life.

As the story unravels Achilles wrath for Agamemnon intensifies, but only after the death of Patroclus does he redirect his “rage” towards Hector. Killing Hector, leader of the Trojan army and son of the King of Troy. Achilles was full of wrath, or “rage.” Achilles' bloodlust, wrath, and pride continue to consume him. He forgets all the other troubles and gives up his pride to go avenge his friend.

Achilles demonstrates the last quality of a Homeric hero in the final book of the Iliad. Following the conventions of war, he gives Hector’s body back to his mourning father, Priam, king of Troy. He also consents to halt an Achaean offense until Troy has finished mourning for their prince. The normally frightening Achilles, suddenly shows a soft side and Priam’s words “…stirred within Achilles a deep desire to grieve…”

Proud and headstrong, Achilles takes offense easily and reacts with blistering indignation when perceived that his honor has been insulted. Agamemnon erroneously accuses Achilles of cheating him of his prize, Chryseis, Achilles insulted, retorts at Agamemnon reminding him of all the honors and loyalty he has earned while he shamelessly earns his pillage through his lust for greed. The dueling between Agamemnon and Achilles is mainly due to “honor,” the highest social value. They are fighting for honor, dignity, respect, and status. Honoring is associated with gifting. Achilles gifted to get the honor he wanted. He knew that through gifts, he would be remembered forever. His legacy would live forever.

Achilles, serves as an illustration of how different the Greek notion of heroism is from the later Christian notion which immediately succeeded it.
During which the Iliad was written, was the Trojan War, the ten year siege of the city of Troy. The Trojan War were battles played out between Achilles and Agamemnon. Most place the timeline of the war in 8th century BC.

The greek culture included homeric epics, One of the most prominent characteristics of ancient Greeks...