Achilles is the main character, and his inaction, or withdrawal from the fighting, is crucial to the plot. He is a complex warrior who sometimes ignores the cultural norms of his society because he sees through some of its fallacies — in particular, he sees many of the faults in the often narrow and contradictory heroic code. Achilles is also the greatest warrior and fighter among the Achaians. He is invulnerable except on the heel because his mother dipped him in the River Styx as a baby.
Once set, gods and men abide it, neither truly able nor willing to contest it. How fate is set is unknown, but it is told by the Fates and by Zeus through sending omens to seers such as Calchas. Men and their gods continually speak of heroic acceptance and cowardly avoidance of one's slated fate.
And put away in your heart this other thing that I tell you. You yourself are not one who shall live long, but now already death and powerful destiny are standing beside you, to go down under the hands of Aiakos' great son, Achilleus.
Each accepts the outcome of his life, yet, no-one knows if the gods can alter fate. The first instance of this doubt occurs in Book XVI.
Seeing Patroclus about to kill Sarpedonhis mortal son, Zeus says: Ah me, that it is destined that the dearest of men, Sarpedon, must go down under the hands of Menoitios' son Patroclus.
Majesty, son of Kronos, what sort of thing have you spoken? Do you wish to bring back a man who is mortal, one long since doomed by his destiny, from ill-sounding death and release him? Do it, then; but not all the rest of us gods shall approve you. This motif recurs when he considers sparing Hector, whom he loves and respects.
This time, it is Athene who challenges him: Father of the shining bolt, dark misted, what is this you said? But come, let us ourselves get him away from death, for fear the son of Kronos may be angered if now Achilleus kills this man. It is destined that he shall be the survivor, that the generation of Dardanos shall not die Whether or not the gods can alter fate, they do abide it, despite its countering their human allegiances; thus, the mysterious origin of fate is a power beyond the gods.
Fate implies the primeval, tripartite division of the world that Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades effected in deposing their father, Cronusfor its dominion.
Zeus took the Air and the Sky, Poseidon the Waters, and Hades the Underworldthe land of the dead—yet they share dominion of the Earth. Despite the earthly powers of the Olympic gods, only the Three Fates set the destiny of Man. Yet, Achilles must choose only one of the two rewards, either nostos or kleos.
Either, if I stay here and fight beside the city of the Trojans, my return home is gone, but my glory shall be everlasting; but if I return home to the beloved land of my fathers, the excellence of my glory is gone, but there will be a long life left for me, and my end in death will not come to me quickly.
Agamemnon's sceptre, the wheel of Hebe 's chariot, the house of Poseidon, the throne of Zeus, the house of Hephaestus. Translator Lattimore renders kleos aphthiton as forever immortal and as forever imperishable—connoting Achilles's mortality by underscoring his greater reward in returning to battle Troy.
Kleos is often given visible representation by the prizes won in battle.
When Agamemnon takes Briseis from Achilles, he takes away a portion of the kleos he had earned. Achilles' shield, crafted by Hephaestus and given to him by his mother Thetis, bears an image of stars in the centre. The stars conjure profound images of the place of a single man, no matter how heroic, in the perspective of the entire cosmos.
Thus, nostos is impossible without sacking Troy—King Agamemnon's motive for winning, at any cost. Pride[ edit ] Pride drives the plot of the Iliad. The Greeks gather on the plain of Troy to wrest Helen from the Trojans. Though the majority of the Trojans would gladly return Helen to the Greeks, they defer to the pride of their prince, Alexandros, also known as Paris.
Due to this slight, Achilles refuses to fight and asks his mother, Thetis, to make sure that Zeus causes the Greeks to suffer on the battlefield until Agamemnon comes to realize the harm he has done to Achilles.
When in Book 9 his friends urge him to return, offering him loot and his girl, Briseis, he refuses, stuck in his vengeful pride.
From epic start to epic finish, pride drives the plot. In Book I, the Greek troubles begin with King Agamemnon's dishonorable, unkingly behavior—first, by threatening the priest Chryses 1.
The warrior's consequent rancor against the dishonorable king ruins the Greek military cause. The epic takes as its thesis the anger of Achilles and the destruction it brings. Anger disturbs the distance between human beings and the gods. Uncontrolled anger destroys orderly social relationships and upsets the balance of correct actions necessary to keep the gods away from human beings.
Hybris forces Paris to fight against Menelaus. The "Wrath of Achilles". King Agamemnon dishonours Chryses, the Trojan priest of Apollo, by refusing with a threat the restitution of his daughter, Chryseis—despite the proffered ransom of "gifts beyond count".What a Pedigree.
Think of Achilleus like an Ancient Greek Arya Stark —well-born, secretly sentimental, and totally fueled by rage.. To understand Achilleus, you've got to start with his family tree. Many years before the Trojan War, Zeus, king of the gods, developed a crush on Thetis, a sea-goddess.
A theme in The Iliad closely related to the glory of war is the predominance of military glory over family. In Greek mythology, Achilles or Achilleus (/ ə ˈ k ɪ l iː z / ə-KIL-eez; Greek: Ἀχιλλεύς, Achilleus [plombier-nemours.com͜ús]) was a Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central character and greatest warrior of Homer's plombier-nemours.com mother was the immortal Nereid Thetis, and his father, the mortal Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons..
Achilles' most notable feat during the Trojan War was. The Shield of Achilles is described in a beautiful ekphrastic passage from Book 18 (lines ) of Homer's Iliad. Made by Hephaestus after Achilles' original shield and armor were stolen, the new shield is beautiful and ornate, depicting various scenes from ancient civilization.
The shield, then, is the instrument necessary for returning to battle and winning glory, but it is also Hephaestus’ reﬂection on the life that Achilles has exchanged for the immortality of his legend.
Zeitgeist continues as do the skeptics with the idea that Christianity itself is a copy of the cult of Mithras, which was popularized in Rome in the 1st to 4th Century AD (note that it sprung up in Rome after the death of Christ and centuries after the Old Testament prophecies of the Coming Messiah).