Achilles, The Hero: "The Iliad"

Essay by dljonesHigh School, 10th grade June 2006

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I have chosen Achilles to write my paper on because his character is the central story line in the Iliad. Although it may seem that the main theme is about the totality and gruesomeness of when the poem is first read, this is not the main focus. The actual fighting and Trojan War could be compared to "Saving Private Ryan." We get raw details of the war without missing any of the descriptive details. Achilles is the character I was most interested in because he was an extraordinary fighter, man, and hero. We see how Achilles matures from a bloodthirsty warrior in the beginning to a more reserved and thoughtful man by the end of the Iliad. Achilles is a semi-god because his mom, Thetis, is a goddess and his father, Peleus, is a mortal. Achilles shows the greatest military skill of any Achaean and has the greatest fighting ability of all Trojan and Achaean warriors.

He is considered to worth an entire army when fighting in a battle. In the beginning of the Iliad Achilles is known as a ruthless and unstoppable killing force. Anyone he could not send to the House of Death he would hold as captives on his ship. He did all of this killing and destruction for the glory. When the Argives asked Achilles and his friend, Patroclus, to help them conquer Troy and get Helen back, Achilles agreed only because of the glory and fame he could achieve from it. Achilles had no reason to fight the Trojans because they had not wronged him, at least not yet. He joined the Argives because he felt this war would be the quickest way to gain glory. Achilles wanted to become famous. Achilles quickly became the Argives main fighting force. Agamemnon, the leader of...