Achilles: Life and Legacy

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THESIS STATEMENT In Homer’s The Iliad Achilles individuality and his lust for future glory is what makes him so tragic. PURPOSE STATEMENT Through textual references based on The Iliad, it is apparent that Achilles legacy and death in Troy show he is a prototype for the tragic hero. INTRODUCTION Achilles, the sound of his name would send shivers down the enemies back, looking him in the eye could almost turn you to stone, he was THE warrior of the ancient world. In his article Strauss says, “He is the first warrior of the Western world. Swift-footed, lionhearted, terrible in his war cry, a sacker of cities, a charismatic leader, a stunning physical specimen, unconquerable…Achilles was the best of the Greeks at Troy”(Strauss 1). Achilles was the most feared warrior of his time and it made him famous beyond belief. This is why his death in Troy was so tragic to all of Greece. Achilles consuming rage is his tragic flaw, this stems from his sense of pride or Hubris. Achilles demonstrates his rage in his killing of Hector and by defiling his body. By doing this he has sealed his own fate of death. Also, Achilles individuality and his supreme skill in warfare are what make him the most beloved and feared warrior of his time. Everyone loves a hero and that’s what Achilles was, he was as close to a celebrity they had in Greece at that time. This was because he was the most ferocious warrior of his time. Lastly, by his attempt to avoid his fated death Achilles will show he is the prototype for the tragic hero. Achilles chooses his young death when he decides to fight in Troy. Fate must be accepted and by trying to change it Achilles is locked into a tragedy. CONSUMING RAGE: THE REAL ACHILLES HEAL Achilles consuming rage is his tragic... ... middle of paper ... ... Achilles in the heel, his one weak point, and the greatest warrior of all met his inevitable fate of death (Homer). Achilles was killed at the hands of the young prince that started the war, fate finally caught up with him, the tragic hero falls. CONCLUSION In The Iliad Achilles is the example for the tragic hero because of his individuality and rage. Achilles came face to face with his fate in Troy. By going to war he was signing his own death certificate, but because of his hubris he went and fought. He believed he could cheat fate but because of his lust for future glory and his imminent rage he faced death. As Strauss describes Achilles, “Renown—preeminence—honor—glory…He wanted to be immortal. And he is” (Strauss). Achilles is immortal because he is known throughout the world as the greatest, most ferocious, brave and skilled warrior the world has ever known.

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