Who is Responsible for the Death of Patroklos?

Essay by TeenyChristeenyCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2007

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In the poem "The Iliad" by Homer the question of who is responsible for Patroklos’ death has many answers. Unlike the question of how and why the war started where you can get the answers directly from the text. However, there might be some that disagree with this statement. An outsider looking in would most likely say that this is a very obvious question. Patroklos died at the hands of Hektor. Hektor is the one that stabbed him and took his life so therefore he is responsible for his death. However, if they had really studied the text they would have realized there is a lot more to the story than that. Achilleus sent Patroklos, “his most beloved friend”, to fight in his place because he couldn’t get over his own selfish anger. This is why Achilleus is to be blamed for Patroklos’ death.

There are many events that happen in The Iliad that lead to this conclusion, the first event being Achilleus getting made at Agamemnon for taking “his prize” Briseis and refusing to fight in the war.

He claims that he doesn’t have anything against the Trojans. That they have never done anything to him personally yet he is there anyway fighting for him. He is there to help Agamemnon win back his brother Menelaos’ honor.

Achilleus is a very skilled warrior and a great asset to the Achaians. He is, in fact, the best warrior of them all and accomplishes the most in the fighting. However, he is mad because even this being true Agamemnon still takes the best of the prizes. Achilleus never complained though and took whatever prizes he got back to his ship without confrontation, but Agamemnon taking his prize away from him was the last straw. He states this as follows:Never, when the...