funeral games of Patroclus(iliad) from a different perspective

funeral games of Patroclus(iliad) from a different perspective

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The Funeral Games of Patroclus
Narrated by Meriones

     Hey, I’m Meriones, the son of Molus and the comrade and squire of Idomeneus. Today I found that some “great warrior” was killed. His name was Patroclus or something. Everyone was acting ridiculous in my opinion. First Achilles called everyone outside so we could drive our chariots around his body. Wow, what a great way to show we care for someone…not. While I was driving my chariot everyone around me was weeping and mourning for the loss of Patroclus. To tell you the truth I’ve never heard of Patroclus doing anything special for the Achean army. I think that Zeus probably commanded Achilles to make a big deal out of this death. Otherwise we probably would have just thrown him on some wood and burned him or the easier funeral, throw him in the ocean. Meanwhile Hector, the leader of the Trojan army, was dead and we had the body. Achilles went on a mad streak and dragged the body and threw him out for the dogs. Well that really gives a good reputation for the Acheans. Achilles announced that he is also going to slay twelve noble Trojan men and cattle while they burn Patroclus’ body.
     Later Achilles started getting ready for the funeral. He asked me to go out and find an ox that was worthy enough to get slayed with Patroclus. In that case, I decided that the only thing worthy ebough for him would be a pig. So, jokingly I brought the pig back to Achilles. He shockingly but sternly replied, “ You, Meriones, are a poor disgrace for a soldier, and have never deserved and honor in anything you’ve done. I don’t think you have ever even won anything in your life! Ha! I am ashamed of you especially to dishonor such a great man like Patroclus. Now, go away we do not need your help.” After he said that I got very angry. I had to think of a away to get him back.
     Later Achilles called us out and told us that Patroclus had come to him in a vision told him to hurry up and bury him so he could enter the gates of Hades. When Achilles said that I couldn’t help but laugh because that right there proves that Achilles is the one with the problem, not me. It seems that just because I’m not as serious as the rest of the army and that I like to have fun, he won’t respect me for who I am.

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     Soon after that incident the funeral began. Achilles cut a lock of his hair off to put with Patroclus to honor him. He also announced that he would be buried next to him when he died. When he said that I hope that it would be soon. After the funeral was over Achilles went on another mad streak and dragged Hectors body around town a few times. When he got back I noticed that there were no scratches or cuts on Hector. It looked as if he just lied down to take a nap. That was very peculiar to me, so I decided to check into it more. The only god that I could get information from was Hephaistus, the son of Zeus and Hera. He is the only god that favors me because of an incident long ago. So I prayed to him that he would come to me. Soon he came and I asked him about the situation and he told me that Athena and Apollo were protecting Hector so that the Trojans could get him back and have a proper funeral. I was shocked. After Hephaistus left I realized that if I tell Achilles about what is going on he might gain respect for me.
     A few hours later I found Achilles while the funeral games were going on. I approached him and said that I needed to talk to him. He said he was busy and whatever I had to say was not important enough. One acquaintance of mine, Teucer, was standing around and overheard what I said to Achilles. He kindly approached me and said, “Dear friend Meriones, don’t be upset by Achilles’ harsh words, I will listen to what you have to say.” Trusting Teucer, I told him the whole story about the gods and Hectors body. A few minutes after I noticed Teucer talking to Achilles about something. I happily thought that he was telling Achilles that he needs to listen to what I have to say because it’s important , but then Achilles stood up and stated,” Great Teucer has prayed and sacrificed to the gods and found out information that Hectors body is being protected by the gods and cannot be harmed.” When I heard that I was furious that Teucer betrayed me. I stood up and yelled, “ He is a liar! He is a traitor! I was the one who found out about Hector!” Then a roar of laughter came from the crowd and Achilles said,”Meriones, I am tired of you acting like this. The whole city and Achean army knows that you can’t do anything yourself. No one respects you because there is nothing to respect you for!” More laughter arose from the crowds and I quietly sat down. I thought to myself tha I will find a way to get Achilles to respect me and to get vengeance on Teucer.
     After the games went on, one of the last games, the hardest task, was mentioned. It was for someone to shoot an arrow and hit a dove. When Achilles asked for volunteers the crowd was silent except for the hand of Teucer. When he volunteered a thought went through my mind. What if I volunteered and beat him? Then I would win the respect of Achilles and get vengeance on Teucer. But the thought that I would lose and make a fool of myself went through my mind too. That being my only chance my hand slowly went up. Achilles laughed and said,”Teucer why don’t we just go ahead and give you the prize!” I then stood up and approached Teucer by the dove and the target. Teucer then looked at me like “who do you think you are” and picked up the bow and arrow. When he shot it seemed as if it were in slow motion. The arrow finally hit and knocked the dove loose. As it started to fly away, without thinking I grabbed Teucer’s bow and I took my arrow and shot. Amazingly I hit the dove, and it fell to the ground. The crowd was silent. Then one by one they stood up clapping and yelling in honor of me. This was one of the best moments in my life. I got vengeance against Teucer, and most importantly I gained the respect of the great Achilles.

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