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. Patroclus ' death is therefore a turning point for Achilles; he learns to acknowledge his mistake and tries to mend them, even though doing so will result in a great consequence, …show more content…
A predominant change is that he shows genuine care for someone besides himself. This is in stark contrast to his previous decision to withdraw from war and ignore his dying soldiers. Therefore, his priority shifts from his longing for glory, an selfish internal factor, to his love for the dead friends, a more admirable external factor. Achilles evolves into a man of compassion as his concern extends outside himself to others. Moreover, he forgives Agamemnon when he declares, "I hereby end my anger. There is no need for me to rage relentlessly" (19. 79-80). He finally comes to terms with someone who dishonored him and lets go of his stubborn grudge. Achilles is willing to overlook the earlier feuds to focus on the more immediate battle with the Trojans. Consequently, he directly faces the errors he committed and transforms into a better man with compassion and clemency. The negative feelings that Achilles holds for himself drives him to alter his thoughts and actions. Yet his development as a true hero does not stop …show more content…
But in the Iliad 's book 24, he agrees to return the defiled body at Priam 's request. Although it is true that the gods force Achilles to give up Hector, he goes above and beyond to show true sympathy. The "Iliad" describes the engaging moment Achilles has with Priam: "Priam, huddled in grief in Achilles ' feet, cried and moaned softly for his man-slaying Hector. And Achilles cried for his father and for Patroclus" (24. 547-51). In this moment, Achilles empathizes with Hector 's father, Priam, and understands his pain by likening him to his own father, Peleus. This last emotional challenge fills Achilles with longing for his family and dejection in knowing that he will never return home. Another big change then takes place in Achilles ' mind; if he had been able to embrace only himself and his close friends before, he can now go forward and embrace men who stand in opposition. Although he cannot forgive Hector for Patroclus ' murder, he shares the grief of families left behind. He genuinely wishes them well by granting protection during the twelve days of funeral. Through this act of generosity, he finally becomes capable of empathizing with both his comrades and his

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