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Achilles is one of the major characters in “The Iliad” Expository Essay


Achilles is one of the major characters in “The Iliad”. Despite his prodigious might and his close affiliation with the gods, Achilles strikes most modern readers as less heroic warrior. In the texts of the Iliad Achilles is depicted as a great warrior possessing all the marks of a grand fighter by proving his might it the Achaean army.

Unfortunately, Achilles deep-rooted personality flaws relentlessly hinder his aptitude to act and carry himself with aristocracy and honor. Achilles is portrayed as a character who cannot take control of his ego and arrogance or the fury that gushes up when that ego is insulted or injured.

Achilles was so bitter for being slighted under his commandant supervision, this led Achilles to forsake his fellow warriors and even hope that their foes the Trojans will slaughter them in the battlefield.

Patroclus a close friend of Achilles puts him in a dilemma after his death. This happens when the Trojans push the Achaeans back to their ships. The Achaean warriors sit disheartened return to their base camp as failures. Agamemnon declares the war against the Trojans a total letdown.

As Agamemnon proposes to his troop that the only choice they had is to return to Greece Diomedes rises and insists that he will remain behind and fight even if all his other fellow warriors decided to leave.

Diomedes reminds his fellow fighters that Troy is doomed fall. Diomedes and Nestor advocate perseverance as well, and propose resolution with Achilles. Agamemnon decides to shower Achilles with gifts on a condition that to the Achean lines in the battlefield.

The king assembles his best spokesmen to commune his suggestion to Achilles.

Achilles is found playing the lyre with his close friend Patroclus by the kings delegation. They present the kings message which is met with great and direct rejection by Achilles. Achilles lets them know his intention of returning back to his homeland of Phthia where he hoped to live a peacefully life rather than a glorious one that he was to live if he remained in the battlefield.

Achilles longs and hopes to live an extensive, easy and peaceful life, but Achilles is certain that his individual providence forces him to choose between the two. He is seen as a character or warrior that is motivated primarily by a thirst for glory, might and power.

Eventually, Achilles develops a willingness to forgo everything else so that his name will be kept in mind by the current generation and generations to come.

In the interim, behind the warfront, Achilles notices an injured Machaon fly by in a chariot and propels his close friend Patroclus to go find out Machaon’s status. Patroclus learns from Nestor how much pain their foes the Trojans had inflicted upon the Achaean commandants.

Nestro pleads with Patroclus to beg his friend Achilles to rejoin and take control of the battle. Nestro further suggested if at all Achilles declined Patroclus could disguise himself as Achilles by putting on Achilles’ armor. Nestro knew that this would give the Achaeans the advantage of Achilles’ horrifying sensation.

Patroclus’ appeal to Achilles is turned down as well and as Nestro’s idea of returning to the battlefield dressed in Achilles’ armor takes course. Patroclus joins his fellow soldiers in the battlefield where he meets his death. Patroclus death puts Achilles in a dilemma of returning to the battlefield and avenge his friends death.

Similar to many Homeric characters, Achilles does not develop radically over the line of the grand. Patroclus death puts Achilles in a dilemma of reconciling with Agamemnon, but that does not assuage his fury, but in turn conveys it toward Hector.

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IvyPanda. (2019, April 1). Achilles is one of the major characters in “The Iliad”. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/achilles-is-one-of-the-major-characters-in-the-iliad/

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"Achilles is one of the major characters in “The Iliad”." IvyPanda, 1 Apr. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/achilles-is-one-of-the-major-characters-in-the-iliad/.

1. IvyPanda. "Achilles is one of the major characters in “The Iliad”." April 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/achilles-is-one-of-the-major-characters-in-the-iliad/.


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IvyPanda. "Achilles is one of the major characters in “The Iliad”." April 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/achilles-is-one-of-the-major-characters-in-the-iliad/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Achilles is one of the major characters in “The Iliad”." April 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/achilles-is-one-of-the-major-characters-in-the-iliad/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Achilles is one of the major characters in “The Iliad”'. 1 April.

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