Achilles Is Responsible For His Own Fate In The Iliad Analysis

Improved Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    This justice driven by revenge is the cause of the destruction surrounding Achilles. Specifically, Achilles wants justice in the form of Agamemnon suffering the same humiliation as Achilles suffered. Achilles believes that Agamemnon’s honor must be taken from Agamemnon rather than Agamemnon offering honor, material gain, and power while not losing any of his own honor. No matter how much Agamemnon gives Achilles, Achilles will not be satisfied. Achilles is not looking for personal gain.…

    • 1531 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hector knew that Achilles was the more powerful warrior and even contemplated bargaining for his funeral rights. Hector’s sense of honor wouldn’t allow him to retreat into Troy, but his fear of Achilles had him running around the outskirts of the city to avoid the battle. When Hector has to factor in the duty to the gods, he is trying to comply with obligations that are at odds. Hector fighting Achilles was detrimental to the greeks. The Prince of Troy shouldn’t be fighting in a battle he knows that he will lose, he is too important to the future of Troy.…

    • 819 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Achilles In Iliad

    • 1034 Words
    • 4 Pages

    During the turmoil of the Trojan War, Achilles makes considerable progress in his mental growth. In the film Troy, upon learning about Patroclus ' death, Achilles is quick to blame and punish his men for unknowingly following him to battle. Homer 's "Iliad" paints this scene in a different way: instead of accusing the Myrmidons, he blames himself for letting Patroclus and his friends die. Achilles expresses intense guilt and regret as he reflects on his past decision. Unlike the movie adaptation, Achilles in the book uses introspection to act as his own harshest critic.…

    • 1034 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Readers experience the wrath of the warrior. Readers notice a sense of complexity when proud Achilles’ must honor Patroclus, at whatever cost. However, he has tenderness when Priam retrieves his son. Achilles is immoral, but he still deserves pity after Patroclus’ death. Contradictory to what some might consider, Achilles is the villain due to his immoral actions.…

    • 658 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    This also shows his selfishness as he only cares about his injured pride and the intentions he has planned to achieve. (222-223) Also, due to his characteristics and attitude, Achilles’ rage rises to a new level once he discovers that his close companion Patroklos has been killed by Hector. Achilles then chooses to forget any ill-feelings he had at Agamemnon and now seeks revenge for Patroklos’ death by killing Hector and destroying Troy. Hector can be described as calm, compassionate and noble. Hector puts his love for Troy and Troy’s interest above his own and is ready to sacrifice his life need be it.…

    • 1253 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He wasn’t fighting for the Greeks he was fighting for avenues and grief. The cause of Achilles death was caused by Patroclus death. Achilles knows that Hector death would lead up to his death. The decision between living a long easy life verse living a short glorified life weighed in after Agamemnon took his prize given to him for his hard work. Agamemnon knows he was wrong for treating the high priest with disrespect.…

    • 1362 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Achilles trails being that his war prize is taken away from him, as well as Patroclus’s death are both hard on him. Then again when no matter how hard he tried he could not feel peace in the killing of Hector. Only when he gives the body back is he humbled. When it comes to Gilgamesh he has the fight with Enkidu that first humbles him, then you have the fight with Huwawa and the Bull of Heaven. Achilles after killing Hector had to fight with himself by not letting the body go back to Troy.…

    • 1567 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Homers epic, the Iliad, we see that dishonor is something that is looked down upon. Honor is why the warriors go to battle and what gives them the motivation to push through the gruesome events that take place. The Iliad is full of characters that are stunted by fear. In Book 17 we see that Menelaus is too fearful to protect Patroclus’ body. Lastly, Achilles is mentioned in this section to show that the refusal of giving up Patroclus’ body could be the one thing to draw Achilles out of his depression of losing Brises.…

    • 1038 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    According to what Achilles tells Odysseus, Achilles only came to Troy in order to win glory on the battlefield (227). Achilles knows that he will die if he chooses to fight in Troy, but he accepts his fate and decides to help the Achaeans after he and Agamemnon reconcile (416). Achilles strives to gain glory, but his priority remains to not anger the gods in the process. When killing men in the the river, Skamandros, the river addresses Achilles and tells him that “For the loveliness of my water is crammed with corpses, I cannot find a channel to cast my waters into the bright sea since I am congested with the dead men you kill so brutally. Let me alone, then; lord of the people, I am confounded” (446).…

    • 1747 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    So it can be said that Hamlet wants Claudius to suffer for what he did, killing his own father , the king, and thus replacing him, even in afterlife. But it is good to keep in mind that Hamlet seems to be planning his revenge. He first observes the environment around him. To do this he acts as if he were mad. He wants to kill Claudius in the same way Claudius killed his father.…

    • 1138 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays