The Pernicious Roles Of Achilles And Homer's Iliad
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Phoenix’s paradigm narrative fails to persuade Achilles to rejoin the war because the specifics of that narrative fail to align with Achilles’ specific concerns. In particular, Phoenix neglects the pernicious effects of Agamemnon 's actions on Achilles’ notions of honor and pride.
The old man discounts Achilles’ ability to act solely on the account of his dangerously inflated pride, which proves to be detrimental not only to the Greeks but also those whom Achilles cares about, most notably Patroclus. Additionally, Phoenix’s anecdote draws incorrectly upon the role and relationship of Achilles’ parental figures, lessening the efficacy of the speech as a whole. Phoenix’s terminal mistake was confusing the desires of Achilles with that of Meleager,…show more content… While Phoenix and Meleager seemed to have issues with their respective parents, Achilles has none of the same issues. Achilles has a loving mother as well as a father and Phoenix, a father figure. Achilles and Phoenix are so close that Phoenix claims, “I made you what you are, my godlike Achilles, And loved you from my heart” (Homer’s Iliad 9.498-499). In contrast, the relationships depicted through Phoenix’s story are filled with rage and promises of death. The importance of structuring symmetrical relationships when invoking an emotional argument is imperative, and this paradigm fails to pick appropriate examples. Though Achilles may feel pity, he isn’t able to wholeheartedly empathize with the narrative laid before him. Without empathy, there can be no universal bonds in which others can be held accountable for each other. The dearth of empathetic material in Phoenix’s speech is largely proportional to Achilles’ acute refusal as well as a broader representation of the tragedy of the Trojan war on the…show more content… Achilles, never receiving a proper apology from Agamemnon, has no incentive to accept the gifts proffered to him. He makes it plain that he holds his honor and life above anything that Agamemnon could offer, claiming that “Nothing is worth my life, not all the riches They say Troy held before the Greeks came” (Homer’s Iliad 9.415-416). Additionally, he knows that honor can be stolen and replaced, “But a man’s life cannot be won back” (Homer’s Iliad 9.421). Phoenix doesn 't acknowledge these concerns, thinking that Achilles cares only about the prizes he has lost in addition to a more visceral honor than Achilles holds. Achilles believes that his “ honor comes from Zeus, and I will have it among these beaked ships as long as my breath still remains and my knees still move” (Homer’s Iliad 9.624-627) whereas Phoenix thinks of his honor as something tangible and bestowed to him by the Achaeans (Homer’s Iliad 9.619). This discrepancy proves irreparable in convincing Achilles, and highlights yet more flaws in the execution of Phoenix’s plan. For instance, Phoenix relies heavily on the aspects of Meleager’s story pertaining to the Aetolians to show the consequences the Greeks may face if Achilles did not fight (Homer’s Iliad 9. 609-622). Phoenix overestimates the value of this sentiment in his argument. Seeing as Achilles did not have any particular qualms about the Greeks’ faith beforehand, it can be