Iliad and Achilles Memory Essay

Submitted By paige12498
Words: 899
Pages: 4

Achilles was a well-known character who played a major role throughout all of The Iliad. He was the archaic hero archetype that everyone looked up to. The warriors followed his lead whenever they needed help with anything in the battle. His actions really determine the whole plot of the story because he is one of the important commanders on the Greek side. When he does not agree to fight everything changes for the Greeks. Achilles rage drives him throughout the whole battle. He is supposed to be following the code of Xenia but does not because he refuses to fight and is not even encouraging his side. He is just sitting and watching the war while everyone on his team is fighting and getting killed on the battle field, but he will not go in because they are still standing their ground and do not need his help yet. Even though he is the greatest warrior and has super skills and has a close relationship with the gods, he does not come off as the most heroic character in the book. Achilles was a flawed hero but his actions drive the plot forward in the story
When Agamemnon demands that Achilles surrender his war prize, Briseis, it causes him to withdraw angrily from battle. Achilles abandons his team and prays that the Trojans will murder them, all because he has been slighted at the hands of Agamemnon. The grief that comes for the Greek army owes as much to Agamemnon’s inflexibility as to that of Achilles. After this mishap with Agamemnon the Greeks are fighting without their main warrior and it is all because of a slight argument between to great fighters. Hector kills Achilles best friend, Patroclus, in battle while he was wearing Achilles armor and steals the armor off his body to keep as his own. The death of Patroclus starts the raging fight between Achilles and Hector. Although the death of Patroclus makes him seek an agreement with Agamemnon, it does not ease his rage, but instead redirects it toward Hector. Hector runs away from Achilles at first like a baby. But Hector knows that he will die and that the gods are not on his side anymore so he faces the warrior. Achilles knows the weak spots of Hectors armor, because this is Achilles armor, and stabs Hector right in the throat where the armor does cover his body.
After Hector being killed, King Priam begs for the return of Hector’s corpse, appealing to Achilles’ memory of his father, Peleus. Priam tearfully approaches Achilles, begging for Hector’s body. He reminds Achilles of his own father, Peleus, and the love between them. Achilles weeps for his father and for Patroclus. Priam encourages him more and more by saying. “If you truly want me to give Prince Hector burial, full royal honors, you’d show me a great kindness, Achilles, if you would do excactly as I say.” (Homer 570) He accepts and agrees to give Hectors body back. Priam spends the night with Achilles in his tent but is awakened in the middle of the night to slip away back to the Trojans side. Achilles holds back his troops from fighting for the days to come.
Before leaving for battle Achilles mother tries to hide him from the commanders so he is not taken off to war and killed. She dresses him up as a girl and has him blend in with all of the other maids and servants at the court of the king of