The Atrocious Achaean: A Look Inside the Epic Hero Book Review by ZMoney

The Atrocious Achaean: A Look Inside the Epic Hero
A character analysis of Achilles, the protagonist of Homer's "The Iliad."
# 145501 | 807 words | 1 source | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Nov 13, 2010 in Literature (Greek and Roman)

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This paper focuses on the character of Achilles in the epic "The Iliad", which was written by Homer around the late ninth century BC. The paper explains that Achilles is depicted as having mostly negative characteristics; he is deemed as selfish, arrogant, and bloodthirsty. However, the paper asserts, Achilles has many positive attributes that are overlooked in "The Iliad," such as courage and hospitality. The paper delves into examples of these positive aspects. After acknowledging that Achilles was part mortal, the paper concludes that this misunderstood character was essentially a machine built for carnage, and yet he was not given any credit for his beneficial talents.

From the Paper:

"Although selfish throughout the epic, Achilles does show a hospitable side on several occasions. One occasion occurs when Odysseus, Ajax, and Phoenix come to Achilles' tent by order of Agamemnon to help convince him to return to battle. Achilles turns down the offer to fight; however, he still tells the men to sit down and relax. He also cooks food for them as well as serves them wine. Another time in The Iliad that Achilles shows hospitality is towards the end of the epic, when King Priam shows up at his tent, by guard of Hermes, and is asking for the rights to his late son Hector. Not only does Achilles grant this favor to Priam, but he also fixes him a meal which he personally makes and roasts on a spit. Achilles also tells Priam that he can sleep at the camp safely for the night. These two examples of hospitality show that Achilles is not completely selfish and he can be caring and sympathetic to others."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Lombardo, Stanley, and Sheila Murnaghan. The Essential Iliad. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2000.

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