Achilles Hero's Journey Analysis

The hero’s journey is a theme that has prevailed in literature for centuries. Though it comes in many forms, the message it conveys is eternal. Homer, an ancient Greek author, is oftentimes credited with making the hero’s j ourney a popular skeleton for authors to follow. Specifically, in Homer’s epic poem the Iliad, conflict works to develop the various aspects of the hero’s journey and illustrates Achilles and Hector’s differing temperaments, values, and personalities.
One of the most central conflicts in the epic poem is between Achilles and Agamemnon. It begins when the Achaeans sack a Trojan-allied town and capture two sought-after maidens, Chryseis and Briseis. Agamemnon, the acting commander-in-chief of the Achaean army, takes
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Agamemnon becomes extremely angry and says that he will return Chryseis only if Achilles gives him Briseis as compensation. Here, Achilles’ personality begins to become apparent to readers. Achilles is so offended by Agamemnon’s request that he threatens to draw his sword and decide the quarrel violently. The immediate reaction of Achilles is evidence of his immense pride. Although Agamemnon’s demand could be seen as unfair, Achilles still has the ability to end the suffering of his comrades if only he could set aside his pride. In terms of the hero’s journey, this conflict illustrates Achilles’ hubris, or his foolish pride. Hubris is a trait that, in many pieces of literature, becomes the hero’s most important flaw. For Achilles, his ego causes him to refuse to participate in battle which has consequences for not only himself, but for the rest of his fellow Greeks. More specifically, Achilles prays to his mother, the sea-nymph Thetis, to ask Zeus to punish the Achaeans, his own people. At this stage of the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon, it is apparent that any infraction committed against Achilles is, in his eyes, a threat to his honor and in turn, a …show more content…
The most obvious similarity between the two is their explosive and impulsive emotional temperaments. Achilles is quick to fight, and when Hector is in the midst of battle he tends to have little control. When Achilles is offended by Agamemnon, he essentially throws a temper tantrum and refuses to fight for his people in complete disregard of any possible repercussions. This can be seen as a minor form of cowardice which is something that Hector only shows for a very brief period. In fact, courage becomes Hector’s tragic flaw whereas Achilles’ seems to be his immense ego. Hector’s ego is in check which is especially seen at the end of his life when he knows he is facing superior forces, but fights anyways. In the poem, Achilles does not appear to

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