Pride Fueled Rage: Achilles Essay

1817 words - 7 pages

Achilles, the hero and great warrior of the Trojan War, is son of the goddess Thetis and mortal Peleus. He is extremely courageous and has tremendous honor, within his character however, is a juxtaposing inherent flaw of pride entwined with anger. Is it a necessary pride? Do all heroes have this character flaw? In The Iliad, the anger of Achilles is presented from the first line, “ Rage: / Sing Goddess, Achilles’ rage / Black and murderous…” (Line 1-3; p. 107). Here Achilles’ anger is described as rage, a term suitable to describe the anger of a God. Throughout the poem we see the triggers that set Achilles’ rage in motion. Certainly we see that this pride is what drives his rage and need for vengeance. This rage defines Achilles and sets the theme of the epic work. He isolates himself because of his rage when he decides to spite his comrades by withdrawing from the war. He becomes a character that is dimensionally narrow-minded, and before the end the reader only witnesses mere instances of another side, yet it is this rage that makes him a great warrior. Achilles, although tremendously valiant in the face of danger, at times allows himself to be blinded by his hubris.
Achilles’ rage begins with “the clash between [he and] Agamemnon” (7; p.107). A plague has been cast upon the men because Agamemnon refused to return Chryseis to her father the humble priest Chryses. Ten years into the siege of Troy and ten days into the plague cast by Apollo, Hera planted a thought and Achilles decides to speak up. He and Agamemnon argue about returning the girl and even after Agamemnon decides that he will, Achilles still abuses him. It would seem that Achilles is harboring some ill feelings toward his commander calling him a “…greedy glory-hound…” and a “shameless, profiteering excuse for a commander!” (131,159; p.110, 111). He says to Agamemnon:
“I don’t have any quarrel with the Trojans,
They never did anything to me…
It’s for you, dogface, for your precious pleasure—…
And now you are threatening to take away the prize…
I never get a prize equal to yours [Achilles reveals his gripe]…
You get the lion’s share and I go back to the ships
With some pitiful little thing, so worn out from fighting
I don’t have the strength to complain. (162-78; p.111)
Achilles is the one who does the fighting—great fighting. Even before his speech Agamemnon says to him, “You may be a good man in fight, Achilles, / And look like a god,” and the poet announces him as “the great runner,” and “strong, swift, and godlike” (110). It allows the reader to see that Achilles is truly a warrior, but he feels that he is not treated fairly when the prizes and booty are shared. The gods know that gifts are ultimately what pleases mortals and intervenes trying to break up the quarrel. She says to him, “Now come on, drop this quarrel, don’t draw your sword /…/ You’re going to get / Three times as many magnificent gifts,” this is the only way he decides not to kill Agamemnon. Evidently, this...

Find Another Essay On Pride Fueled Rage: Achilles

Achilles: Life and Legacy Essay

1427 words - 6 pages consuming rage is his tragic flaw, this stems from his sense of pride or Hubris. Achilles demonstrates his rage in his killing of Hector and by defiling his body. By doing this he has sealed his own fate of death. Also, Achilles individuality and his supreme skill in warfare are what make him the most beloved and feared warrior of his time. Everyone loves a hero and that’s what Achilles was, he was as close to a celebrity they had in Greece at

Call of Duty Essay

1676 words - 7 pages ’ desperation for glory stems, not from protecting his comrades or even his own life, but from feeding his own childish ego. Even after Agamemnon sends Odysseus, Ajax, Phoenix to dispel the demigod’s rage, Achilles rejects Agamemnon’s offer in light of his offer of both material treasure as well as the return of Briesius’s daughter. Surprisingly, Achilles tells the trio, “… if you’ll take the time and care to see me off, and you will see my squadrons sail

The Comparison of two Ancient Greek Warriors, Achilles and Hector

1017 words - 5 pages both world-class warriors, heroes, and born leaders. The Trojan soldiers look up to Hector as do the Achaeans to Achilles. Also, Homer describes both Achilles and Hector as “god-like”. This suggests that their standards in the field of battle are very much the same and that they are superior to the other soldiers. Furthermore, Homer shows us that they both possess great pride. In Achilles’ case, Agamemnon dishonors him in the beginning of The Iliad

"The Iliad" by Homer: Achilles' Wrath

1248 words - 5 pages ' life. It speaks to Achilles' inability to control his pride and rage that arise when his pride is hurt. And it serves as the turning point in Achilles' life in which he abandons his indifferent attitude towards the war and internalizes his new-found desire to reenter the war and avenge his friend's death.BibliographHomer. The Iliad of Homer, Translated by Lattimore 1961. London: Phoenix Ed., 1961.

The Character Achilles in Homer's The Iliad

966 words - 4 pages The Character Achilles in Homer's The Iliad "The first book of The Iliad, appropriately titled the "Rage of Achilles," sets the scene for the remainder of the epic" ( "This rage is invoked by pride, a theme of pivotal importance for the Greeks. Pride is the source of the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon in Book 1. The incident that provoked Achilles rage took place in

Achilles in Homer's The Odyssey: A Character Analysis

1205 words - 5 pages the poem.Homer begins his story by presenting its readers with the central theme of the poem: Achilles' Rage.Rage-Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,murderous, doomed, that cost the Acheans countless losses,hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,great fighters' souls, buy 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

English Paper

1733 words - 7 pages Greek heroes, Achilles got in a conflict involving his pride with the Greek leader, Agamemnon. Because of this argument, Achilles decided to remove himself from battle, and announced that he would not fight again, unless the Trojans attacked his men or his ships. One day, the Trojan leader Hector was inspired to attack the Greeks, by the god Apollo. The Trojans attacked the Greeks and pushed them back to their ships. The Greeks were desperate, and

The Illiad: Heroism

624 words - 3 pages , Achilles and Hector are both heroic characters, but Hector is more heroic for various reasons.One reason Hector is heroic to a greater extent than Achilles is because he was able to face-up to going to fight for the honor of Troy. Achilles only fought when he knew for sure he was going to win. In the book "The Rage of Achilles", the reader learns that Achilles was furious at Agamemnon for not withdrawing the troops after Agamemnon was forced to return

Creon and Achilles

1498 words - 6 pages hard,/ giving up the heart?s desire... but I will do it--/ no more fighting a losing battle with necessity (1228). The way in which Achilles instantly submits to the will of the gods? suggests that his rage is less ardent, his soul is more reverent and his will is more flexible than Creon?s. Creon?s reluctance to submit suggest rage deeper, a pride more potent, and a soul less reverent than Achilles.The motives behind Creon?s submission

Achilles: The Tragic Hero

1178 words - 5 pages war and lets self-pride take control. Another example of Achilles demonstrating ignorance in The Iliad is when he goes on a hunger strike before fighting Hector (Homer, 285). Achilles states, “‘I beg you, if any of you my dear comrades will listen, do not ask me to touch food or drink, for I am in deep sorrow’” (Homer, 285). His ignorance in this situation makes him so ill prepared for a battle the following day that Athena has to drop nectar and

Criteria for Heroes

937 words - 4 pages does not credit himself for his accomplishments. He usually gets around glorifying himself by thanking the gods. Achilles pride contributes to his downfall, and it also shows Hector to have far less hubris than his opponent.Composure may be the requirement Achilles is furthest from meeting. Almost every time his name is mentioned, he is in some fit of rage. His very first tantrum is when he about kills Agamemnon, only being stopped by Athena. His

Similar Essays

Essay On Diomedes, The True Hero Of Homer’s Iliad

1552 words - 6 pages scenarios they had created for themselves. In other words, they did not make themselves what they were; rather, they had been predestined to become it. The final requirement of being a hero was coolness. Heroes were not permitted to be blinded by rage or have mood swings. In The Iliad, two Greeks are presented to the reader as heroes. They are Achilles and Diomedes. Although they are both good contenders for the title of hero, Diomedes is by far the

Heroes In The Iliad And Their Criteria

1473 words - 6 pages Troy is fated to fall (102-103). Achillesí pride contributes to his downfall (not mentioned in The Iliad), and it also shows Diomedes to have far less hubris than his egotistical fellow Greek warrior. Coolness may be the requirement Achilles is furthest from meeting. Almost every time his name is mentioned, he is in some fit of rage. His very first tantrum is when he about kills Agamemnon, only being stopped by Athena (14-15). His next

Achilles: The Tragic Hero Essay

1129 words - 5 pages . Achilles is a true Tragic Hero because he withholds all of these traits. Achilles proves to be a good man that puts his loved ones first, reveals his tragic flaws of pride and anger, shows dynamic qualities as a character when his flaws are challenged, and has a moment of clarity at the end of his rage. Achilles truly exemplifies the qualities of a Tragic Hero. Achilles is introduced into The Iliad getting into a debacle with the leader of the Greek

Achilles’ Courage In The Iliad Essay

1010 words - 5 pages killed Patroclus. This redirection of rage only further proves that Achilles was not driven by honor or courage but by bloodlust, wrath, pride, and the need to make a name for his self that would forever be remembered (SparkNotes Editors). He went from a man that was upset over war conquests to a man who could only see red because his friend was murdered by the enemy. Once the death of Patroclus had occurred, Achilles accepted gifts from Agamemnon