Achilles Ever-Changing Rage In The Iliad

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Achilles’ Ever-Changing Rage In The Iliad Homer depicts Achilles as a rugged warrior seeking to sack and destroy anything to win the war for the Acheans but, above all, Achilles seeks to bring honor to his name. Achilles is a hero, by his likes as a great warrior and as one of the strongest Achean men; however, his acts of betrayal, selfishness contrast the definition of a classic hero. Achilles is first introduced as in a fit of rage, “murderous and doomed” (1.2), willing to bring down any living being in his cloud of wrath. Although Achilles is a son the goddess Thetis, he is solely introduced as the son of mortal Peleus, to stress his mortality, that he is fated to die. Every action and reaction of Achilles is calculated so that his name and honor may not be shamed for after his death, he will be remembered as a mighty warrior. This selfishness and everlasting rage defines him and does not allow him to ever act as a true hero. Ultimately Achilles grows to understand and then is able to…show more content…
Achilles is enraged by Agamemnon’s behavior as a king. “My honor never equals yours, whenever we sack some wealthy Trojan stronghold–my arms bear the brunt of the raw, savage fighting, true, but when it comes to dividing up the plunder the lion’s share is yours, and I go back to my ships, clutching some scrap, some pittance that I love, when I have fought to exhaustion.” (1.192-198) Achilles believes that as a king, Agamemnon’s duty is to distribute wealth yet despite changing circumstances, he may not call any prizes back. Agamemnon, while he does not fight himself, takes the majority of prizes for which Achilles feels he is owed. Achilles interprets this as shame to his honor. His forced return of a prized woman, Briseis, represents a disgrace to his honor as a man and warrior. Achilles is so enraged by this humiliation that he refuses to fight with his fellow

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