skip to main | skip to sidebar
Home » , » The subject of The Iliad is the wrath of Achilles. Elaborate.

The subject of The Iliad is the wrath of Achilles

Homer's Iliad deals with the events of Trojan War that took place in the last few months during the tenth year of that war. Although the epic vividly narrates the ongoing war between the Achaeans (Greeks) and the Trojans, the central theme or the focal point of the whole story centres round one main theme, that is the wrath of Achilles. The whole poem is divided into twenty four books. In the first book Achilles withdraws himself from the war because of his quarrel with agamemnon. The first ten books narrate how helpless and vulnerable are the Greek soldiers without Achilles and how they  suffer from defeat. Then the turning point comes when  Achilles friend  Patroclus was killed. At one stage of the battle (Book 15) the Trojans reached the Greek ships and the Greeks were in serious trouble.this brings the turning point. The death of his beloved friend Patroclus at the hands of Hector made Achilles mad with fury. His anger shifted from Agamemnon to Hector. He decided to avenge Patroclus anyhow.The books that follow Patroclus' kalling discuss Achilles's fury against. Hector and how Achilles took revenge. Thus the subject of The iliad revolves round Achilles anger. Book nine describes Agamemnon's effort of appeasing Achilles anger that goes in vain. Achilles is not a common hero. No hero in The lliad can be a parallel to him. Achilles father is Peleus, a mortal, while his mother is a goddess (the sea nymph Thetis) Achilles' armour was made by god Hephaestus. Thus he enjoys extra advantage. He is the  best fighter and an inevitable foree on the Greek side. His inaction or the withdrawal from the fighting is crucial to the plot. Achilles anger initiates the epic. Apollo, the son of Zeus was highly displeased with Agamemnon for, his keeping charges the daughter of the priest of Apollo. Apollo in his anger sent plague and the Greek soldiers were dying in large number. Achilles took steps, found out the cause of Apollo's anger with the help of Calchas, the soothsayer who revealed that Agamemnon had dishonoured Chryses, the priest of Apollo by not ransoming his daughter Chrysies from him. Agamemnon agreed to return Chrysies on condition that Achilles' girl Brisies must be given to Agamemnon. This infuriates Achilles.

He went so far as to kill Agamemnon by plunging his sword through Agamemnon's heart. Agamemnon, however, was protected by invisible intervention of the goddess Athene. Achilles was violent, addressed Agamemnon saying: You drunkard butchered man. You have not the courage to fight. Here is my solemn oath. A time shall come when Achilles will be missed by the nation. Many will fall and die before blood thirsty Hector. Then you will realize that you have not respected the best man of all. Achilles brooded over his grief for being insulted by Agamemnon. His withdrawal had serious consequences. The Trojans almost pushed the Greeks to the sea (Book XII). Meanwhile Agamemnon was contemplating defeat, and was thinking to retreat to Greek (Book XII). Then the wrath of Achilles turns the war's tide in seeking vengeance when Hector kills Partroclus. Aggrieved Achilles tears his face. Thetis comforts her mourning son. Achilles' wrath now turned to Hector and his only obsession was to take revenge: Now I shall go to overtake that killer of a dear life, Hector. Then I will accept my own death. He fights blindly and bravely, filling the river with the blood and dead bodies of Trojans. He then seeks and finds an opportunity to kill Hector, the Trojan warrior responsible for his friend's death. Achilles' anger was not appeased only by killing Hector. He dragged Hector's dead body around the walls of Troy for twelve days.The construction of the entire poem thus, centres on the anger of Achilles. His wrath is developed in two major cycles.The first cycle  begins in Book I while in Books II and VIII, the hero is not seen, but his absence from the battle field can be felt leading to dire consequences. The second cycle begins with the death of Patroclus when Achilles' anger towards Agamemnon was replaced with an equally excessive grief and wrath against-Hector. So it can rationally be commented that 'The subject of The Iliad is the wrath of Achilles.
the iliad is the wrath of Achilles


Post a Comment

Back To Top