The Fate of Death
In Book Twenty-Two and Book Twenty-Four of the Iliad, Homer portrays the tragedy of war through the death of Hector and Achilles. Someone may say that war is the enemy of pity which means that if you do not have pity, you may fate to die from war. Pity states that one person is able to read, sympathize, feel, and understand another person well. We can see that Hector shows no pity in war, so he faces his death. Nevertheless, what if someone show pity to another person in war? Is he able to prevent himself from his death? Achilles is the man who shows pity toward King Priam in Book Twenty-Four; but he still fails to prevent from his death. The Iliad is about death, it emphasizes in mortality; it shows the limitation of human- being in which humans have fate death. It is not the matter of pity; however, the Iliad shows human do not have freedom to control their destinies. In Book Twenty-Two, Apollo taunted Achilles:
“Why are you chasing me? Why waste your speed?─ Son of Peleus, you a mortal and I a deathless god.
You still don’t know that I am immortal, do you?─ … You can’t kill me─ I can never die─it’s not my fate!”(22.9-11,15-16). Then Achilles responded to Apollo,
“I’d pay you back if I only had the power at my command!”(22.24-25). From the quarrel between Apollo and Achilles, it shows the difference of fate between the god and human. Apollo represents Achilles’ limitation, as the gods can never die, they are able to control their fate; however, Achilles, as human, has fate death; and this is human’s tragedy of war. Unlike the gods, the two great warriors—Hector and Achilles, have fate death regardless of pity as they are human-beings. I am going to argue that the Iliad is about death. In Book Twenty-Two, Homer portrays the death of Hector. In the Trojan War, Hector
shows how great he is, he knows he is a fighter; and he knows better that a fighter...
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