Professor Kathryn Lucas
HUM2051 Civilization 1: Ancient through Medieval
May 11, 2016
Week 2 Discussion
Aristotle said that the man who is incapable of working in common, or who in his self-sufficiency has no need of others, is no part of the community, and is like a beast or a god. Discuss the character of Achilles in light of this statement. Use plenty of examples, details, references, and quotations in the response.
Achilles is a character from one of my favorite books by Homer, The Iliad and the Odyssey. He has no care for the authority of King Agamemnon. Achilles says, “You shameless, cunning man! How is any Greek willing to obey you? I did not come here because the Trojans had injured me. They have never bothered my …show more content…
He was also the mightiest of the Greeks who fought in the Trojan War. When Achilles was a boy, the seer Calchas prophesied that the city of Troy could not be taken without his help. Achilles mother, Thetis, knew that if her son went to Troy he would die an early death. Therefore she disguised him as a young girl, but he was finally penetrated by Odysseus and began to capture the Trojan territory.
Achilles destine is death, and although he is aware of that, he makes his own choices. This is the first characteristic of Achilles that hinders Aristotle’s statement. He is self-sufficient in one sense, yet in another he is not. The other aspect that he is not self-sufficient is that of women. He was known to have a number of romantic episodes, along with the “prize” he won in The Iliad.
In Achilles encounter with Agamemnon, he can’t be bought by Agamemnon, because his claimed his life is more important that goods. It seems as though a beast or God could not be bought with goods as well, therefore Achilles fits Aristotle’s description as a God-like figure. In the time frame of Aristotle’s quote, a beast would be described as a person that is despised which would also fit Achilles’ character. Although he was the mightiest of the Greeks, he was not the biggest fan of