Achilles Similes

705 Words2 Pages

Angel Morales
Achilles’ Pursuit of Hector In The Iliad, Homer uses vivid similes developed over several lines to enhance the atmosphere of the scene. Both to help the reader understand the vastness of the situation and enhance imagery, these epic similes as they are known help immerse the reader in the image as well as give it a deeper meaning. In Achilles’ pursuit of Hector, Homer does exactly this using two similes rather than one. Both similes hold different imagery of the same situation helping to describe the occurrence from different perspectives as well as give a diverse view on the actions of the characters. The scene begins after a long battle in which many of the Trojan warriors were lost. The remaining Trojans retreated back …show more content…

Hector sees Achilles, triggering him to make a decision in the face of an opponent who has slaughtered so many of his men. Fear in Hector’s heart, the words he had spoken left him, and he decided to flee. Achilles, wanting to earn his glory, gave chase. “You have seen a falcon/ In a long, smooth dive/ Attack a fluttering dove/ Far below in the hills./ The falcon screams,/ Sweeps and plunges/ In its lust for prey.”(158-64) is how Homer describes the beginning of the chase. In this Achilles is chasing after his prey like the falcon, a predatory bird known for its speed and accuracy would swoop down on prey. It is an occurrence that happens over time, Achilles having to cover distance while filled with bloodlust. Hector in this simile is like the dove the subject of the predator’s attention. The fluttering is a description of the way in which Hector trembled after having set his eyes upon Achilles who was ready for battle. The simile also inspires the image of fear an animal would have with a predator right on its tail. This simile does however have drawbacks to the comparisons that are made. To describe a large man armored man running with shield and weapon as smooth seems to be a stretch. It does not compare very well to the act of bird of prey tucking in its wings and performing a near freefall to kills its prey. The other derives from Homer’s choice to relegate the comparison

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