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There are times in my own life in which I realize that a goal that I have been pursuing rigorously is really not worth my time and effort, or that the way I have been pursuing that particular goal is not the most effective way. After I come to these realizations I find it helpful, if not necessary, to step back and analyze the situation. This is what happened to Achilles throughout the first sixteen books of the epic.
At first Achilles had a set of clearly defined goals, he was to fight side by side with the Achaeans, sack Troy, and, by doing these things, gain honor and wealth. As the war progressed a series of events took place that forced Achilles to step out of the fight. While he was inactive and had time to contemplate, he came to the realization that he had been fighting for nine years for the sake of a man whose woman has been stolen; now that his woman had been stolen no one fights for his sake. He also realizes that there are other, less risky ways of obtaining wealth and honor, including sending Patroklus out in his armor. Another thing he ponders on, but doesn't seem to take seriously, is whether or not honor is really worth the struggle.
All these changes of mind take place throughout book nine in which the embassy composed of Aias, Odysseus, and Phoenix visits Achilles. By the time the embassy arrived at his hut Achilles had been toying with the idea of returning to his homeland and abandoning the struggle for wealth and honor. Because of the embassy Achilles' mind was changed, probably due to a sense of camaraderie, and he decides to stay but fight only if the struggle reaches his own camp.
At this height of the epic we see that Achilles is still very much concerned with wealth and honor, the question now is "how to accomplish his goal". Achilles is aware of a few things and this puts him at an advantage over the rest. He knows that he will eventually be honored and that Agamemnon's debt to him will eventually be paid; he knows this because Athena had promised it to him if he didn't kill Agamemnon.
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