Achilles Is Responsible For His Own Fate In The Iliad Analysis

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In Homer’s Iliad, it is debateable whether or not Achilles is responsible for his own fate, linked to his level of free choice. Achilles’ fate in the Iliad ends up with him killing Hector and then later dying young with glory as opposed to a long, inconspicuous life. Upon examining Achilles’ choices in the Iliad, it is evident that Achilles play a significant role in deciding his own fate, even if he is not aware of it. This can be shown by looking at one of the major choices Achilles makes, choosing not to fight the Trojans, but also staying Troy. Achilles’ freedom of choice and the responsibility of his own fate include his overall indecisiveness to stop fighting, his own feelings towards honour and companionship, and his reactions to Patroclus’ …show more content…
There is a level of guilt that Achilles has towards Patroclus’ death, due to the fact that he was killed because of his absence on the field of battle. It is Patroclus’ death that finally spurs Achilles into decisive action, to re-join the fight and avenge Patroclus by killing Hector that will result in Achilles’ early death. This is, however, Achilles’ free choice influenced by grief induced by an exterior event that he had little control over. Patroclus’ death is rather the result of Patroclus’ own pride as well as Achilles’ indecisiveness. It is evident by Achilles’ reactions from his choice to avenge Patroclus to his harsh treatment of Hector’s corpse, that Achilles does not wish to live a life that Patroclus is not a part of. Avenging Patroclus is more important to him than his own life, he chooses in this moment to place Patroclus over everything else. Achilles’ freedom to choose is not negated but rather clearly expressed, it is in the aftermath of Patroclus’ death that Achilles takes responsivity for his own fate, that he finally chooses what direction to take his life upon. Before, he left his fate to chance, allowing exterior events to influence his surroundings with no clear intent on what he wanted his fate to be. It is in these moments where Achilles chooses to freely ignore his fate, to not take responsibility in deciding his own fate and …show more content…
Achilles’ choices result in the fate that he receives, his fate has always been his own responsibility, as shown through his decision and indecisiveness of not fighting but staying in Troy. This is shown through his indecisiveness of not fighting through the Iliad, how his feelings on honour and companionship change as events progress, and lastly how Patroclus’ death displays the level of responsibility present in Achilles’ choices and

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