The Treatment Of Achilles In Homer's The Iliad Of Homer

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At its core, the epic poem, The Iliad of Homer, is a story about a hero’s rage and how it affects the war that is taking place around him. This hero is Achilles and he shapes the epic through both his actions and inactions during the Trojan War. Achilles is the most powerful warrior among the Achaians and this is shown during his battles. In fact, his power becomes so great at times that he abuses it and wreaks havoc unjustly. This is the case with Achilles’s murder and subsequent treatment of the likewise powerful warrior Hector. Achilles’s brutal and extreme treatment of Hector’s corpse after killing him exemplifies the uncontrollable rage of Achilles. The mutilation of the corpse was unnecessary and went against Greek traditions of the time. Although some will argue Achilles’s actions can be justified as…show more content…
His motivations are just as important and they stem back to Hector’s killing of Patroklos. While many may argue this gives Achilles’s justification to do what he did to Hector’s body, that is clearly not the case. When Hector kills Patroklos, he succumbs to the fault of pride as well. He stands in triumph over an almost dead Patroklos and exclaims that he is a fool and that even “Achilles, great as he was, could do nothing to help [him]” (16.837). He also tells Patroklos that “the vultures shall eat [him]” (16.836). So yes, Hector does plan on defiling Patroklos’s body, but it should be noted that he never did. Furthermore, Hector’s treatment of Patroklos’s body would not have reached the level of Achilles. None of this is to excuse Hektor’s actions. He was in the wrong and showed a major character flaw. With this being said, Achilles’s response to Hector’s mistake should not have been more violence, especially after Hector begged for mercy. A life for a life is retribution enough for what Hector did, so Achilles’ actions were uncalled

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