Heroes and the Homeric Iliad - University of Houston

educational interests essay Characterization of Achilles and Hektor in the Iliad, ..
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Iris - The Goddess of the Rainbow

Achilles, by contrast, though he is cognizant of the question of honor as a motive for vengeance against Hektor, and indeed gives voice to such a concern ( 18.79-121), is shown genuinely "lamenting the loss of his friend, as the dominant theme of his speech, and denying that Zeus' restoration of his honor gives him any pleasure now that Patroklos is dead ..." (8-9). Achilles is driven by "personal, internal motivations for revenge" that have little to do with his own acquisition of honor or avoidance of shame. "Agamemnon would never have understood the compelling power of personal affection voiced here, let alone the comparative neglect of honor."

Homer thought that seeing what it is on the shield could help the reader understand the importance of Achilles' shield and the Iliad.
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Achilles’ shield also communicates this idea of the juxtaposition of human impermanence and flux with respect to particular persons or even communities (XVIII. 474ff.). The activities described on the shield, of course, are perennial human activities. Human agriculture, marriage, war, birth, and death all will continue. However, particularly in the context of a defeated Troy, where the Trojans will no longer continue to participate in these activities as a unified community, the permanence of these activities as human activities is not necessarily reason for consolation. Indeed, if anything, the shield that the immortal Hephaistos crafts for Achilles, who knows he is destined to die when he kills Hektor, while bearing this shield, only underscores the poignancy of Achilles’ mortality. This shield, while it exhibits in its artistry the beauty of human life in all its variety, ultimately cannot protect Achilles from his fated death.

In the Iliad, Homer tells the story of two warriors, Achilleus and Hektor, both of whom exhibit many of the qualities of a Greek hero....
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What is moving and surprising is that Priam effectively stands in for Achilles’ father in his absence. Priam becomes, in the eyes of Achilles, akin to his own father mourning his death, while Priam mourns the loss of Hektor in the presence of his son’s killer, who is also destined soon to die. Priam and Achilles thus stand in a sort of mournful imitation of a father–son relationship. Homer remarks, ‘The sound of their mourning moved in the house’ (XXIV. 512), further underscoring the imagery of Priam and Achilles sharing a house together, through a kind of unity that is reached only in the acknowledgement of each of their losses. Such unity arises only through a shared experience of pain and acceptance of suffering as the plight of all mortals.

In The Iliad, the anger of Achilles is presented from the first line, “ Rage: / Sing Goddess, Achilles’ rage / Black and murderous…” (Line 1-3; p.
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Achilles vs. Hector in the Iliad Iliad essays - 123HelpMe

With the death of Patroklos, Achilles is overwhelmed by grief, guilt, and shame. His decision to avenge his friend and thereby to seal his own fate manifests itself as a seeming passion for , but "what has driven him to wish for 'noble glory' [is] ... an overwhelming sense of personal loss, so is a much more internally and affectively motivated thing here than in the rest of the poem" (100-101). This is in stark contrast to the kind of glory Hektor seeks by ignoring affective ties that once bound him to city and family.

Experiencing Hektor : character in the Iliad

It is only when Patroklos appears to Achilles as a ghost, and asks specifically to be buried, so that his soul might pass over to Hades, that Achilles begins to resolve his inner conflict about mortality. Patroklos’ account of his need to cross over, and to be buried, is also indicative of Achilles’ need to allow Patroklos to move from the realm of life into a death from which he will not return. Achilles finds this experience of an apparition, or dream, sufficient to allow him finally to bury Patroklos, and accept the reality of his friend’s death. His acceptance of loss and the inability to withstand the forward movement of time allows Achilles to sympathize with Priam and finally to return Hektor’s body.

including captive women in the Achaean encampment

It had once been Achilles' practice to behave generously, as for example when he accorded full funeral honors to Eëtion or shared a mealwith and allowed the ransom of Lykaon. Even in the embassy of Book 9, where his concern with honor/shame-incentives is evidently paramount, Achilles is most receptive (or least unreceptive) to the entreaty specifically of Aias, based as it is on a sincere appeal to friendship. Aias impresses on Achilles that the embassy represents the interests of all the Achaians, not Agamemnon alone. Moreover, it consists of his "dearest" friends (9.642). "This affective aspect of Aias' speech prompts the final 'concession' that he will rejoin the war, even if only when Hektor reaches and sets fire to the ships ..." (90).

Achilles and Patroclus have been inseparable since boyhood.

In Chapter 3 ("Achilles' Disaffection"), Zanker comes to the heart of the matter in the heart of Achilles. For Achilles, too, seems to undergo the brutalizing effects of the long war. He, like Hektor, jeopardizes his community for self-interested reasons. But, unlike Hektor, or anyone else in the epic, Achilles will be jarred out of his lethal self-preoccupation by "intensely emotional and personal concerns" (73). Zanker's argument in this and the following chapter is subtle, perceptive, and most persuasive. Mere summary will not do it justice.