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Homer, The Iliad - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Achilles’ Rage Achilles, as painted in the ancient Greek legend, is considered as one of the greatest epic hero because of his actions in the Trojan War, especially as depicted in Iliad by Homer. However, while one could be seduced by Achilles’ might, power, and invincibility, it is important not to confuse heroism for uncontrolled power (Homer & De Jong 16)…
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Homer, The Iliad
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Homer, The Iliad

Download file to see previous pages... This lack of temperance that is also referred to as Achilles’ rage is his most tragic of flaws that resulted in thousands of death for the Greeks when he left the battle with the Trojans (Homer & De Jong 16). Because of his thirst for prizes and glory, he is not able to control himself when faced with defeat and humiliation, and he was not justified to leave the battle. One can view his rage as a spectator as Achilles waits by his ships inexorably as the Argives die in their numbers. One could say that he acts as a spoilt brat who loves to create havoc that will satisfy his self-righteousness. Achilles is completely conscious of the impact his absence has, and he expresses his wish clearly to wait until the Trojans had reached Hellespont at which point he would engage the Trojans and Hector. It is only, when Patroclus dies that he is pushed to act, and from this angle, it is hard to see how the destruction of Trojan and Greek armies bolsters any of the factions or, indeed, Achilles (Homer & De Jong 18). The Iliad has no serenity, and even Achilles’ reconciliation with Priam is more resignation than acceptance. It is, therefore, simple to accuse Achilles of a lack of justification because, despite any will of biting one’s nose to spite the face, any behavior in any way cannot be as wrong and unjustified as the action of Achilles (Homer & De Jong 18). However, even in judging Achilles’ actions as unjustified, it is possible that one is projecting his/her rage on Achilles (Homer & De Jong 21). One is able to deflect their destructive tendencies in the same manner as a small time, thief discounts his/her culpability through a comparison of their actions to charlatans who trick the elderly to give up their pension savings. Therefore, any study of the justification of Achilles’ rage needs introspection, instead of projection. It is vital to ask why anger that is destructive and fulfilling to the point of fulfillment is overwhelming on a desire for, say, food that nurtures. Achilles, as a character, is an extremely complicated persona than a warrior who would allow their fellow soldiers to be slaughtered because he lost a girl to a person who was so self-serving that eh was forced to sacrifice his children so as to be a warrior (Homer & De Jong 22). He tells those who want him to take up his sword and shield and return to battle that a similar honor lays in wait for the brave and the coward. He also repeats these words in the underworld as he says to Odysseus that he prefers to become a slave on the earth than become a king of dead people. Fully knowledgeable of his fate of a glorious death, we could say that his anger has some degree of justification. However, can his actions, or those of anyone else for that matter, also be justifiable? In numerous ways, life can be perceived as a series of losses with the manner in which we deal with these losses defining us. While rage does seem to fulfill individuals and, maybe, we are not too different to Achilles since we are willing to push the potential of our rage to block out life’s pains, especially the pains that make them face their mortality (Homer & De Jong 22). Achilles is not able to separate himself from his lust for victory and glory, which is a caprice that fades as time moves on and comes to have no meaning in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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