A Close Analysis Of Achilles Speech In Book 9 Of The Iliad

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A Close Analysis of Achilles’ Speech in Book IX of the Iliad Because Achilles is the son of both a divine being and a mortal king, he is inherently capable of comprehending realities in a perspective that is different from those of beasts, mortals, or Gods. A close reading of the speech in Book IX 307-429 of Homers’ Iliad portrays Achilles’ rejection of the Heroic Code and his offering of an individualistic model of heroism. Achilles rejects the idea of a hero that cares only for battles and winning. He rejects it because, based on his experience, winning battles does not produce anything good and satisfying. Early in the speech, Achilles complained that his heroic deeds had not been fully rewarded. He tells the ambassadors, “There was no…show more content…
Despite however the evidence showing the lack of reason in the speech. Achilles advances a nature of heroism that while at odds with the Homeric hero is just as valid for it sees the hero as more than a successful fighter in battles. For Achilles, the hero is an individualist, someone who can decide what he wants to do or what he wants to be on his own. An individual hero is not a blind follower of the Heroic Code. A hero according to Achilles is someone stubborn, assertive, proud, and mighty. He stubbornly rejects the ambassadors several times in the speech. Achilles repeats the word “not” five times in lines 385-390. In fact, Achilles opens the speech with an outright rejection telling his audience, “…Without consideration for you I must make my answer, the way I think, and the way it will be accomplished, that you may not come one after another, and sit by me, and speak softly” (Hom. Il. IX 308). This stubbornness is again repeated at the end when Achilles reaffirms his decision not to resume his participation in the war. He concludes, “…that they think out in their minds some other scheme that is better, which might rescue their ships, since the plan will not work for them which they thought of by reason of my anger” (Hom. Il. IX 422) Although Achilles had performed heroic deeds in the past that had aided the Achaians; his conception of heroism is more individualistic than

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