Iliad and Achilles Speech

Topics: Achilles, Iliad, Trojan War Pages: 2 (857 words) Published: October 8, 1999
In the modern world, people, as a society, have always given themselves a goal or goals that they would like to attain at some point during their lifetime. Many people seek to attain riches, love, happiness or high stature within society. When we people set that goal, we tend to mold our lifestyles around it. As people work throughout their lives to achieve this ultimate goal, it becomes apparent to others what it is we are working so hard for. Just as this pattern is evident in modern society, it can also be seen in the times of Homer, particularly in the great Greek epic, the Iliad. This distinct pattern can be seen in Achilles, one of the most vital characters in the story. Achilles, being the ultimate most powerful warrior of all time, 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. Achilles speech, given while he is distraught over the death of his closest friend Patroklos, is an excellent example of Achilles’ desire (Iliad, 18.79). Patroklos is slayed by Hektor, the Trojans greatest warrior and Achilles’ main rival. Hektor, takes the armor (given to him by Achilles’) off of his dead body, and puts it on himself. Hektor is described as “riding around in all its glory”. After word of Patroklos’ death, the Achaians are intensely dejected. To show just how disheartened the Greeks are, Homer describes the men as lamenting. “(Then sighing heavily)… my dear companion has perished, Patroklos, whom I loved beyond all other companions, as well as my own life…Thetis spoke to him, letting tears fall” (377, Iliad, 18.78). It can be sensed that, although in deep mourning for his lost friend, Achilles is just as well upset because he sensed a slight degree of failure. “Now, since I am not going back to the beloved land of my fathers, since I was no light of...
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