The Character Achilles in Homer's The Iliad Essay

The Character Achilles in Homer's The Iliad Essay

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The Character Achilles in Homer's The Iliad

"The first book of The Iliad, appropriately titled the "Rage of Achilles," sets the scene for the remainder of the epic" ( "This rage is invoked by pride, a theme of pivotal importance for the Greeks. Pride is the source of the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon in Book 1. The incident that provoked Achilles rage took place in the tenth and final year of the Achaean attack on Troy. The king is angered by what he sees as a challenge to his authority. He is furious at Calchas for indicting Agamemnon as the cause of the plague. Rather than graciously admit his mistake, the king becomes monstrous and demands compensation for what should not have been his in the first place. He knows what he must do for the sake of the army, but he demands recognition of his privileged status as king" (

"Agamemnon seizes Achilles' prize, the beautiful Briseis, to sooth his own wounded pride" ( "Achilles, in turn, demands recognition of his status as the greatest warrior among the Achaeans. The loss of Briseis is not humiliating because he has any kind of romantic attachment to her. It is humiliating because she was a prize given to Achilles by Agamemnon for valor"( "When Agamemnon takes her away as is technically his right to do, although it clearly violates rules of respect and honorable conduct he dishonors Achilles horribly and devalues Achilles' contributions as a warrior" (Approaches of Teaching Homer's Iliad, p37). 'Even though Achilles is correct to sugges...

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Copyright (c) 2003

Fagles, Robert The Iliad Penguin Classics

June 2001

Rouse, W.H. D. Homer The Iliad The Story of Achilles published by the New York American Library New York and Toronto

First Published 1938

Lawall, Sarah The Norton Anthology World Masterpieces Seventh Edition Volume 1

W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. Copyright 1984

Myrsiades, Kostas Approaches to Teaching Homer's Iliad and Odyssey The Modern Language Association of America New York

Fourth Printing 1993

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