Achilles Is The Hero Of The Iliad Essay

1164 Words Oct 8th, 2015 5 Pages
Homer’s Iliad is an epic poem written concerning the time of the age of heroes. Knowing

this, one can assume that the narrative tells the story of a hero. At first glance it would appear

that Achilles is the hero of the Iliad because the story follows a plot line that revolves around his

actions. One might ask themselves; why then does the epic end with the funeral of Hector rather

than either ending with Achilles aristeia and defeat of hector, or going further to tell us what end

Achilles meets? That brings into question whether Achilles is really the hero of the story at all or

if it is Hector or one of the other warriors written about. The answer is the poem does not portray

Achilles as a hero but something between a hero and a god by comparison to the actions of

Hector and other characters, the description of his motives for his actions, his relationship with

the gods, and the super-human qualities granted to him.

The factor that immediately separates Achilles from most of the other characters is his

divine heritage. There are other characters, such as Aeneas, who have mothers whom are

goddesses, but it appears that Achilles is the only mortal character who can affect the will of the

gods. While it may have always been Zeus’ plan for Achilles to kill Hector, it did seem that

Achilles plea for his honor to be restored altered the events and suffering that occurred in order

to bring these events to pass. No other mortal in the poem seems to…

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