iliadessay - Megan Stoupa October 17, 2006 Classics 220 The...

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October 17, 2006 Classics 220 The Best of the Achaeans In the ancient Greek poem, The Iliad, Homer discusses the events, the honor and the glory that encompass the Trojan War. Although the Trojan War took place for over nine years, The Iliad begins towards the end of the war between the Achaeans (Greeks) and the Trojans. Homer’s story was not written to describe the war and it’s major battles though. It was written to explain the rage and anger of the best of the Achaeans – Achilles. As described by Homer, Achilles is the best of the Achaeans. He is the son of Peleus (a descendent of Zeus) and Thetis, the goddess of the sea. The first time the reader hears about Achilles is after Agamemnon, the leader of the Greeks, captures Chrysies and the god Apollo sends a plague among the Greeks. Achilles, the greatest warrior of the Greek army, summons an assembly and says, “…we must make our way home if we can even escape death, if fighting now must crush the Achaians and the plague likewise” (1.60-61). This passage describes Achilles’ intentions to help his people and to resolve the plague – he speaks the words of a true commander. The rage of Achilles though, is not seen until Agamemnon shames Achilles over his geras . Agamemnon says to Achilles, “I myself going to your shelter, that you may learn well how much greater I am than you” (1.185-186). Agamemnon takes away Achilles’ honor by capturing Briseis - his prize of war. This angers Achilles and causes him to withdraw from the war, leaving the Greeks without their greatest warrior. During Achilles’ recession, Agamemnon tests his men’s willingness to fight,
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This note was uploaded on 04/22/2008 for the course CLAS 220 taught by Professor Freeble during the Spring '07 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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iliadessay - Megan Stoupa October 17, 2006 Classics 220 The...

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