The Iliad of Homer

The Iliad of Homer

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Emotions in the Iliad,
Emotions today

The 'Iliad'; by Homer is a book that deals with many emotional issues. I am going to talk about a few emotional parts of the Iliad and compare them to the emotional life of today. I have chosen a section of the book and will talk about the emotions that come up there. The section that I have chosen to talk about is in book 18 when Achilles is very angry and very sad about Patroclus death. After that he wants revenge by killing hector.
     First off, Achilles talks about how sad he is about the death of Patroclus. Achilles groaned and answered, 'Mother, Olympian Zeus has indeed vouchsafed me the fulfillment of my prayer, but what pleasure is it to me, seeing that my dear comrade Patroclus has fallen—he whom I valued more than all others, and loved as dearly as my own life?
Here, Achilles talks about how much he loved Patroclus almost more than he loved himself. By what he is saying there, you can see that he is very sad, but that he will not just sit there, that something needs to be done.
I think that in modern time, emotions haven't really changed. They are something that everyone has and I don't really think that they change from time to time. I still think that people still care about each other very much. Love is still very felt today. It I felt in the same way it always was. I think that when one that was close to you dies, you will have some sort of devastation. I think that one could be as devastated as Achilles was when Patroclus died, but I would think



that it would be very rare. I would say that love is just as common today as it was back in that time.
After that part, Achilles shows vengeance when he talks about how he wants to kill Hector. 'I will not live nor go about mankind unless Hector fall by my spear, and thus pay me for having slain Patroclus, son of Mencetius.';
There he is talking about how mad he is that Hector killed Patroclus. He is so mad that he wants to kill Hector for it. You see that it is a crazy plan because even his own mother says that he will die if he ends up succeeding with his plan.
'Thetis wept and answered, Then my son, is your end near at hand—for your own death awaits you full soon after that of Hector.

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I think that the message there is that things happen and Thetis thinks that Achilles should not put the burden on Hector in fear that he may endanger himself. I think that in modern times, people still feel vengeance all the time. I would also think that people commit vengeance a fair amount if it deals with something small, such as someone else made fun of you or stole something of yours. I think that if you are dealing with something larger, like the situation in 'The Iliad';, people cannot commit nearly as easily because we are in a very controlled environment. For example, in the book, Achilles and Hector were some of the most powerful humans. Nowadays we have an entire law enforcement agency that will keep things under control. It is still possible, but after it's committed you have



nowhere to go, and in The Iliad, if Achilles wanted to kill Hector, there was almost no one to stop him.
After that part in the book, Achilles again shows how sad he is. 'I would die here and now, in that I could not save my comrade. He has fallen far from home, and in his hour of need my hand was not there to help him.'; Here, Achilles is blaming himself for Patroclus's death, saying that he should have been there for him. He is so mad at himself, saying that he should kill himself for what he has done. He feels guilty for something he could not control. I think that in modern times people also feel guilty for things that they could not control. If something similar to what happened in the Iliad happened today, I believe that people would have almost the same response. I think that it would just be from since the person was so close to us, that if anything dramatic happened, we would feel some sort of guilt.
So I have covered a very small portion of emotion in the Iliad, and compared it to what it might be like today. The Iliad is filled with many emotional situations, so there is so much to cover. Again, I don' think that emotions can really change, even over periods of time.
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