The Iliad And The Hero Of The Trojan War Essay

1500 Words Dec 12th, 2016 6 Pages
“I will pursue Hector who has slain him whom I loved so dearly” (Homer). Were these the words of a heartbroken wife? Or a mistress? No, these were the words of Achilles, the protagonist of the Iliad and the hero of the Trojan War. Achilles is one of the oldest and well-known characters of all time. Scholars in antiquity and artists have fallen in love with his character, inspiring artwork and works of reimagined literature and lots of discourse. One topic of discourse that has plagued both scholars and readers alike is whether the “love” that Achilles references in the Iliad for Patroclus, his closest companion, was heterosexual or homosexual. Homer never explicitly states the nature of their relationship in his epic poem, but he leaves many hints and clues. Through reading and analysis, it is abundantly clear that the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus was of a homosexual nature, due to events that take place in the story and the societal aspects of the time period.
The Iliad, written by Homer somewhere between 800-675 BC, focuses on the events that take place for a few weeks during the ten-year siege of Troy by the Greeks. Achilles and King Agamemnon start fighting because Agamemnon has taken Briseis, a girl that Achilles has taken as a war prize because Apollo forced Agamemnon to give up his war prize, the priestess Chrysus. Achilles becomes so enraged that he stops fighting and prays to his goddess mother, Thetis, that the Greeks will start losing their…

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