Similies in the Iliad

Topics: Iliad, Achilles, Hector Pages: 2 (586 words) Published: October 24, 2012
Analysis of the Simile from the Iliad
A passage will be extracted from the Iliad to analyze how the contents of passage are expressed and contain the similes. The selected passage describes the fight between Achilles and Hector. In fact, the scene tells how fierce Achilles chases after Hector. Furthermore, it describes how Hector gets frightened as facing his death by means of the similes: Hector looked up, saw him, started to tremble,

nerve gone, he could hold his ground no longer,
he left the gates behind and away he fled in fear-
and Achilles went for him, fast, sure of his speed
as the wild mountain hawk, the quickest thing on wings,
launching smoothly, swooping down on a cringing dove
and the dove flits out from under, the hawk screaming
over the quarry, plunging over and over, his fury
driving him down to beak and tear his kill-
so Achilles flew at him, breakneck on in fury
with Hector fleeing along the walls of Troy,
fast as his legs would go. (22.162-173)
As seen above, the passage contains not only the scene of birds’ chase that the hawk swoops down on the dove but also the warriors’ running fight. Some points of contact between the narrative and the simile can be analyzed in this passage. Achilles in the narrative corresponds to the wild mountain hawk in the simile. Furthermore, the beak and wings of the hawk represent in order of Achilles’s “the Pelian ash spear”, which is mentioned right before the extracted passage, and his fast legs. Meanwhile, Hector who is pursued by Achilles in the narrative corresponds to the scared dove of being attacked by the hawk in the simile. The hawk emphasizes about Achilles’s wildness, strongness, and his side of threat in the narrative, whereas, “the quickest thing on wings” reveals Achilles as the swift runner. In the mean time, the action related to the beak of hawk in the parts of similes previews how Achilles kills Hector in the narrative. On the other hand, Hector is emphasized how he becomes...
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