Essay on Achilles : The Tragic Hero

Essay on Achilles : The Tragic Hero

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In the Iliad, Patroclus stepped up and took over Achilles position in battle; he died for Achilles and revealed the true hero in himself. Patroclus, “lost in his own great innocence … condemned to beg for his own death and brutal doom” (16.54,55). He had such courage and bravery to take upon this high responsibility. Achilles even directs Patroclus to “take this command to heart—obey it to the end” so that Patroclus could win glory for him. (16.96). Achilles decides if he sends out Patroclus then he will receive glory for his acts. Patroclus showed a tremendous amount of bravery and boldness in the battle Achilles was supposed to fight in. That battle led to his heroic death. . Patroclus was like Achilles and had a superhuman nature to him that led him to “[kill] many men” (16.966). Though his death redeemed glory, it also brought grieve to Achilles.
The dear Patroclus strived to win over the glory and defeat the enemy. Fearless, he took upon “hundreds of plunging war teams... [with his] heart afire for the kill’ (16.436,438). Even in battle, he sustained courage that made the enemy fear him. The argives “surged to patroclus’ savage spirit” (16.649). They acknowledged that he was a strong intrepid fighter. Such passion
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and confidence killed the Trojans. Patroclus killed Sarpedon and he “fell as an oak tree”’ (16.570). The wrath of Zues was soon upon Patroclus since Sarpedon was his son. Zues’ “heart [was] torn in two as [he] [tried] to weigh all this” (16.517). Patroclus continued to battle Trojans and “killed so many men in the war” (16.966). The great warrior never stopped comba...


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... suffering such humiliation” (16.61-63). He would send out his own best friend to sacrifice himself.
The death of Patroclus could have been prevented. If he never killed Zeus’ son, Zeus may have spared his life. But whether he died or not he still endured a great war. Patroclus’ passion, perserverance, and determination lead him to have a heroic ending even if “death cut him short” (16.1000). Homer makes it clear that Achilles best friend is the true hero in the Iliad. He goes into great depth to describe the wounding climatic war. Honor and loyalty was shown through Patroclus’ actions. Everybody may have seen Achilles as the “greatest fighter amoung the Argive fleet”, but Patroclus nobility brought more power and praise than Achilles (16.319). Patroclus fought long and hard for what he believed in and that’s what makes his character so resilient and mighty.





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