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Achilles Doom

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“To be, or not to be, that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.”
Though written centuries after the death of Achilles, this quote from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” speaks honestly of his life. The epic poem, “The Iliad” of Homer, is a story of the journey of his soul, and his attempts to escape his fate. He questions his fate set out for him by the gods, pondering whether or not he should die for the sake of war, and it is by this questioning of the divine judgment of the gods that he brings doom upon himself. It is known by himself, and by the gods, that he is to live a short, but glorious life, however it is not known how or when his life will come to an end. Achilles himself, wishes to live one of longevity without great glory, and therefore tries to escape his lot in life. Is it just for him to give his life for war, or should he live a life to satisfy himself? Throughout the “Iliad”, Achilles’ actions bring his eventual doom closer to reality than perhaps may have been planned.
“Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilles and it’s devastation which put pain thousandfold upon the Achaians.” The wrath of Achilles begins in Book One of “The Iliad.” Agamemmnon, leader of the Greek army, takes Achilles booty prize, Briseis to replace his own concubine, Chryses, daughter of a priest of Apollo, who was returned to end the plague put on his people by the angry god, Apollo. Achilles feels unappreciated for all that he does for the army when Agamemmnon takes his girl to be his own. He leaves the army because he feels that the king has disrespected him. Thus begins the onset of his doom; by not fighting, and continuing to refuse to do so until after the death of his best friend, Patroklos, he defies his fate.
Once having decided to leave the fighting, he goes to speak to his mother, Thetis. He asks her to ask Zeus to allow the Trojan army to take over the fighting so that the Greeks realize how much they need him, and for them to come to an appreciation for him. Through his concern for his own ego, it is appearant to the reader that, knowing his fate, Achilles will do all that is in his power to stop the fate, or his doom, from being played out. It is also known that the gods do not favour those who try to defy them. Achilles do...

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... is much more important than selfishly hiding from battle, not using his gifts.
There are many events in our lives that leave us with one question: What is the meaning of life? This question plagued Achilles’ during the story of “The Iliad” and he progresses through it to accept the fact that it is not in his hands to decide his fate. “Now I shall go, to overtake that killer of a dear life, Hektor; then I will accept my own death, at whatever time Zeus wishes to bring it about, and the other immortals.” Having brought this doom upon himself out of his own need for gratification early in the poem, Achilles’ finally accepts, humbly that his actions have been the cause of his grief and loss over his dear companion, Partoklos. It is through his continual refusal to partake in his destiny that he brings his doom upon himself. It is one of the greatest sins one can commit, to deny the world of your gifts. It is impossible for us to control our fate, the gods (speaking in Ancient Greek terms) control our lives as they see fit and by reading this poem, it is possible to come to a deeper understanding of how we must accept it.
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