The purpose of this paper is to determine if the violence in the Iliad is gratuitous or adds shock value. First, I will discuss the rage that sets the path of violence. Second, I will discuss the rage of Achilles that led to Hector’s death. Last, I will discuss if the violence in the Iliad is gratuitous or adds shock value. In conclusion, rage is what led to the violence throughout this epic poem. "Rage - Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles, murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses, hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls, great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion, feasts for the dogs and birds, and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end. Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed, Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles" (The Iliad Book 1). Rage, the very first word of the Iliad poem which sets the path of violence in this epic poem.
It drives Achilles to be a great warrior and controls the actions of Achilles. This rage makes him withdraw from the war after being humiliated by Agamemnon and later rejoin the war with a vengeance for Hector. It is this human emotion that leads to a violent destruction, doom and death of Hector. Hector is the greatest Trojan warrior and battles with the Achaean army during Achilles’ absence. While at battle, Apollo approaches Patroculus from behind and wounds him. Hector completes the brutal death of Patroclus. He taunts Patroclus and as Patroclus lay dying, he informs Hector that he will soon die. Hector strips Achilles' armor from Patroclus body and puts it on. This marks the beginning of the wrath of Achilles to send Hector to his death. Achilles is bursting with rage when he hears of the death of Patroclus. He returns to battle and kills many men in his rage of seeking out Hector. He throws his slain corpses into the river and clogs the channels. The god of the river asks him stop throwing dead bodies into the river and Achilles agrees, but he doesn’t agree to stop killing. After killing Patroclus, Hector remains outside the gates of Troy. When he spots Achilles, his fear escalates and he flees. Achilles chases him around the city and Hector then boldly turns to face Achilles. The two great warriors fight and Achilles gets the upper hand. Hector is still wearing Achille’s old armor and Achilles knows the armor’s weak points and stabs Hector in the neck. Facing death, Hector