Achilles And The Iliad Analysis

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Many great works have been lost to time. Some of the most well-known and respected authors of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome have not been fully preserved, and what could have been their greatest works are gone. Despite the difficulties many of these authors have faced in their conservation, the narratives they tell remain timeless, each reiteration shedding new light onto the subject. One of those timeless tales is that of Achilles, the main hero of the Iliad. The story of Achilles, immortalized in Homeric song, has been expounded upon by many authors, and one of the most striking iterations of the legend of Achilles is found in Statius’ Achilleid. As the last work of Statius’ life, the Achilleid is a short, unfinished account of the Trojan …show more content…
While Achilles is in hiding, he falls in love with the girl, and despite his feminine appearance, makes no attempt to hold back his advances to her. Eventually, he rapes her and fathers her son, whom they hide until Achilles’ true identity is uncovered at Scyros. He marries Deidamia the night before he leaves for Troy, and she laments that she may never see Achilles again. Achilles’ love of Deidamia is young, brash, and inexperienced, driven by naïve curiosity and a need to possess. Deidamia is happy to oblige Achilles’ flirtation, regardless of the fact that she believes Achilles is actually a girl. She does, however, evade his physical advances until Achilles forces himself upon her. Despite the violence of his actions, she welcomes the act, secretly having harbored feelings for him the entire time. With the inclusion of Deidamia’s story, Statius puts romance at the heart of the Achilleid. This helps readers to see Achilles as more than a hero. He is a man, with a wife and child, and Deidamia’s lament underscores the feelings of those who are left behind by the war: “Ah stolen sweets! I’m so afraid./ Achilles is given to me and snatched away./I am so miserable! … As for me, will I be in a story/you tell your slaves, about a boys first peccadillo,/or will I not be mentioned at all?” War takes away loved ones and displaces families, and they are often …show more content…
The accessus serves as an introduction to the work and author before delving deeper into the meaning of the Achilleid. According to this introduction, Achilles’ historic actions and life are a main theme of the poem. Additionally, the accessus states that the purpose of the work is to understand the story of Achilles. In order to understand the story of Achilles, we must understand that the Achilleid is an ethical book. At this time, many authors subscribed themselves to the school of thought of ethics. Paul Clogan asserts in his book, The Medieval Achilleid of Statius, that “the ‘moralitas’ in the poem is to be found in the mother’s solicitude for her son and in the son’s obedience to his mother”, echoing the sentiment that the Achilleid helps us to understand the struggle between Achilles’ loyalty to his mother and his loyalty to his fate. The Achilleid is very much an ethical book, and Achilles’ struggle between his mother and fate serves as a central

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