Essay on Achilles Is A Character With A Range Of Emotions

2447 Words Nov 4th, 2016 10 Pages
Achilles is a character with a range of emotions. Throughout the Iliad, Achilles’ character did not develop, but rather it unfolded over the course of the war. The epic shows the complexity of Achilles. But he still has flaws, despite his impressive strength, an overwhelming warrior, and knowledge of the gods. Many aspects of Achilles’ character display him as honorable and good. He had respect for the dead and abided by the proper funeral formalities and would spare men in combat and keep them alive as prisoners. This aspect of culture has a heavy emphasis in the epic and helps us notice when he begins to disregard and neglect this culture. Homer wants the audience to witness betrayal and his destructive bereavement breakdown Achilles’ character.
The starting point of Achilles’ unraveling is when he was insulted and humiliated by Agamemnon over war prizes. However, the death of his closest friend, Patroklos, leads to Achilles’ complete deterioration of character. At that moment his character fully changed. The losses that Achilles encountered affected him severely and it was King Priam that was able to break Achilles’ descent after he desecrates Hektor’s body. It is clear that Achilles’ character has changed throughout the epic as a result of these losses because his earlier actions have him show respect for the dead and always abiding by proper customs. Achilles abided strictly by the warrior culture. Prior to his downward spiral, Achilles had shown involvement and…

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