The Iliad Short Paper 2

Submitted By 62appet
Words: 603
Pages: 3

Nicole Appet
Professor O’Connor
CLAS 301
15 September 2014

“Let bygones be bygones. Done is done. Despite my anguish I will beat it down”

During the 7th and 8th book of the Iliad Achilles is pushed to the breaking point. He is ridden with guilt because of the death of his close friends Patroclus which he feels responsible for. His thought process through comprehending the death of his friend and the decision to avenge him is one of the turning points of this novel. Patroclus begs Achilles to allow him to wear his armor and return to battle. Achilles agrees but only under the condition that Patroclus only fights long enough to save the ships. Achilles also prays to Zeus for Patroclus’ safe return, showing how much he really cares for Patroclus. With the appearance of Achilles’ armor at the battle everything quickly turns and the Trojans retreat from the ships. Patroclus however disobeys Achilles by not standing down, but rather continues fighting on the offensive. Killing several Trojans including Sarpedon, Zeus’ son. This obviously upsets Zeus who in return kills Patroclus. Once news reaches Achilles of Patroclus’ death he loses control of himself. He is utters “My dear comrade’s dead – Patroclus – the man I loved beyond all other comrades, loved as my own life – I’ve lost him – Hector’s killed him, stripped the gigantic armor off his back, a marvel to behold – my burnished gear.” Iliad 18. 94-98 (Fagles) From this statement we can tell how distraught he is over the loss of his friend. The quote above comes from a conversation Achilles is having with his mother, Thetis. She tells him that if he does avenge his friends death and kills Hector his death will shortly follow, and without giving his mother the time to finish he interrupts “Then let me die at once –“ Iliad 18. 113 (Fagles). In this moment he has accepted his tragic fait as long as Patroclus’ death is avenged. Achilles guilt stems from the fact that he feels that he could have saved his friend. In his opinion if he was fighting with Patroclus he would not have been killed in battle, Achilles could have defended him. This causes Achilles to rationalize things and how many man probably died because he was