Analysis Of Madeline Miller's 'The Song Of Achilles'

1472 Words3 Pages

When making an adaptation there are several questions one has to answer, “What has to be changed so a modern audience can “relate” to a story like The Iliad?” and “Do we as the media creators try to tackle the epic story that is The Iliad or instead focus on one of the background stories?” This is what Madeline Miller the author of The Song of Achilles chose to do, she focused on the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. Miller approaches the story from the sidelines by using Patroclus, Achilles companion and in Miller’s adaptation, lover. Despite deities and fate, despite prophecies and strategies, Miller focuses her novel on a human relationship and although this adaptation has an audience with different expectations and values it …show more content…

“One by one the priest summoned us to the hearth, marking our wrists with blood and ash, binding as chains. I chanted the words of the oath back to him, my arm lifted for all to see” (pg.14). Here Miller is using information drawn from other sources to modify the original. In The Iliad, we are never told why these kings answered the call the rescue Helen. Miller explains that the original suitors for Helen’s hand; Odysseus, Ajax, Patroclus and many others swore an oath to come to Helen’s aid if anything were to happen to her. This value is one that both audiences would understand, you’re only as good as your word and people who break their promises are …show more content…

In Song of Achilles the only gods that are really interacting with the humans are Thetis, Chiron and Apollo. One thing that today’s audience has in common with Homer’s is the belief that god or gods play a big part in our lives. Miller defers from the original material by making Thetis a more prominent and different character than we see in The Iliad. “She leaned closer still, looming over me. Her mouth was a gash of read, like the torn-open stomach of a sacrifice, bloody and oracular. Behind it her teeth shone sharp and white as bone” (pg.54). In The Iliad Thetis is seen as a beautiful immortal goddess and loving mother, but in Miller’s version she is cruel and distant and that makes Achilles seem more like a victim. Thetis also reminds us of an overbearing mother who disapproves of her son’s choices and relationships. The gods are always in the background, their presence is always felt. Patroclus is afraid of Thetis, not only because she is immortal but because she is Achilles mother and Patroclus is aware that Thetis does not approve of him in her sons life, “You will be dead soon enough” (pg.54). Patroclus knows he is nothing in the grand scheme of things he is no hero just in love with one that happens to be half god and that love which will eventually take him to the battle field where Apollo drops him from Troy’s walls and find his death at the end of

More about Analysis Of Madeline Miller's 'The Song Of Achilles'

Open Document