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Adasdsa Essay

1491 words - 6 pages

Achilles’ battles with Hector in Homer’s Iliad, Book 22, and Cycnus in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book 12, are both unique in the sense that each portrays a different method of storytelling and each use heroes to illustrate a different message to the audience.. Ovid’s Metamorphoses is more of a collection of stories and stories within stories and was written far after Homer’s Iliad. As a result, the Trojan War and specifically the battle with Hector in the Iliad would have been well known to Ovid’s audience. This battle mentioned is also usually considered the high point of the Iliad. The fact that Ovid decides to completely skip over the battle between Achilles and Hector in his narrative suggests that he wants to form a more comedic version of these great battles before the fall of Troy rather than a more serious tone of storytelling as Homer does with the Iliad. These differences and similarities will be further analyzed in the following paragraphs after a semi-brief context of each battle scene.
In Achilles battle in Homer’s Iliad, Hector is first seen fleeing from Achilles and circling around Troy’s city walls on horseback. Upon his fourth lap to much relief, he thinks he encounters his ally, Deiphobus. Unfortunately for him, this is actually Athena in disguise. However, this lets Hector believe that he has the upper hand on Achilles. With Deiphobus at his side, he is convinced to charge Achilles. After an exchange of spear throws with Achilles, Hector looks to Deiphobus for a lance. Hector then realizes that the gods must have betrayed him as Deiphobus is no longer to be found. In a last desperate attempt for ‘kleos,’ Hector suddenly decides to charge Achilles. However, to much dismay, Achilles has a significant advantage over him. Hector is wearing Achilles’ old armor that he stole from Patroclus’s dead body after killing him. This allows Achilles to expertly know where all the weak points of the armor are with great precision. Achilles then thrusts a spear through Hector’s throat at just the right time and Hector collapses and dies shortly.
In the battle between Achilles and Cycnus in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a much different set of events occur. Cycnus is the son of Neptune and had already “taken a thousand lives [of the Greeks] (12.73)” before this encounter. When Achilles finds Cycnus, he starts off by throwing a “mighty spear [at Cycnus]. The weapon [is] perfectly aimed, but the aim [is] perfectly useless. (OM 12.83)” This is because Cycnus has impregnable skin and sharp objects will not affect him. This surprises Achilles with much confusion. He continues to repeatedly throw more spears at Cycnus, but each one of them comes to the same result as the first. Once “Cycnus present[s] his body unguarded [and] it bores not a scratch, Achilles explode[s] with rage. (OM 12.101)” Achilles then questions his own strength and wonders if he had used all of it in earlier fights. He then decides to get his spear and give it one more attempt at injuring...

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