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The Iliad may be seen as an account of the circumstances that irrevocably alter the life of one man: Achilles, one of the greatest warriors. Throughout the course of the poem Achilles goes through many ordeals that change his character immensely. Starting with his quarrel with Agamemnon and withdrawal from battle, to the death of Patroklos, and with the slaying of Hektor. Achilles emotions and actions decide the fate of many warriors on both sides. Achilles struggles with anger, honor, pride, loyalty and love make the poem more that just a gruesome war story.
A large source of Achilles anger started with his fight with Agamemnon. Apollo put a plague on the Achaean soldiers that was killing them off. The only way to stop this from killing them all was to give back a priest’s daughter who had been captured. This girl “belonged” to Agamemnon and he didn’t want to give her up unless he got Achilles girl in return. This would disgrace Achilles honor but he could not let any more soldiers be killed so, he reluctantly let her go. But in return for giving up his girl he withdrew from the battle. Much of Achilles anger is a result of this occasion but the death of Patroklos later overrode his previous anger to Agamemnon.
The death of Patroklos touched Achilles in many ways that changed and shaped his character. Many emotions were a result of his death such as love, loss, anger, and sadness. Patroklos was a dear friend to Achilles and when a mix of divine intervention and Hektor cut Patroklos down grief and the desire to avenge his dear friends death consumed Achilles. This switched his anger from King Agamemnon to Hektor, the man who slew his dear friend. This anger drew Achilles to avenge the death of his friend, to kill Hektor.
The slaughter of Hektor is gruesome and horrid. Not only did Achilles kill Hektor but, he hung him by his ankles, attached him to his chariot and dragged Hector around the burial site of Patroklos. This is horrible enough but Achilles for a while refused to give Priam, father of Hektor and King of Troy, back the body of Hektor for proper burial. He was going to let it be eaten by the dogs, though the gods protected his body from this.
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