Achilleus's Shield Analysis

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In The Iliad of Homer Hephaistos gives Achilleus a new shield because he wanted to give the Achaians an advantage and attempt to scare the Trojans into thinking that Patroklos was Achilleus. However his plan failed. Patroklos died with Achilleus’s armor on because Achilleus lent it to Patroklos and prayed he would come home safe, this did not happen and Hektor killed him. The armor, stolen, his body, surrounded by an army. Achilleus’s mother, Thetis, asked Hephaistos to make a shield and new armor for Achilleus. Hephaistos agrees with her, not wanting Thetis’s son to mourn his friend 's death anymore. This is why he chooses to make the armor out of exquisite metals, such as gold and silver, and to decorate the shield with elaborate images and …show more content…
Thetis wishes to help Achilleus recover from Patroklos’s death at the hands of the Trojans. “ What he had lost with his steadfast companion/ when the Trojans killed him. Now my son lies on the ground, heart sorrowing.” (XVIII.460-61). In order to include some joy in Achilleus’s ill fated life, Thetis begs for Hephaistos to make her son a shield, helmet, and two greaves to protect him in battle. “Therefore I come to your knees; so might you be willing/ to give me for my short-lived son of a shield and a helmet/ and two beautiful greaves fitted with clasps for the ankles / and a corselet.”(XVIII.457-60). Hephaistos agrees with Thetis and will make the armor. He does this because he wants to alleviate Achilleus’s sorrow. Hephaistos crafts the shield with intricate precision to ensure that Achilleus will have the best armor out of all the mortals. Hephaistos knows that it will intimidate the Trojans and give the Achaians a better chance at winning the war they are fated to …show more content…
When given the shield Achilleus is reflecting his emotions regarding Patroklos’s death. He has anger in his eyes when he first shown the shield which tells the reader that he feels angry over Patroklos’s death because even though Achilleus prayed to the gods to let his friend come home safely, his prayers were not answered and Patroklos’s life was lost in the battle. When Thetis presented the armor to her son, not one person except for Achilleus possessed the courage inside of them to look at the extravagant armor except for Achilleus, who stared straight at it studying all of the the intricate designs that Hephaistos put onto the newly crafted shield. This suggests that Achilleus is the bravest out of the people surrounding Patroklos’s body, even though he was just sobbing into his deceased friend 's body. The only one that can calm him down is Thetis, his mother, who manages to coax him away telling him that Patroklos should die the way he was

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