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Essay by   •  December 7, 2010  •  333 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,198 Views

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In this weeks reading, the one thing I found particularly surprising was that the Iliad did not tell the story of the Trojan horse or fall of troy but rather focused on fatalism and human emotion. Having heard of the story of the Iliad, so many times I had never truly known what Homer's tale really focused on. Fate is such a driving factor in this epic that it is the sole reason for the Achaeans to go to war with troy for so many years and inspires them to keep fighting. I found the role of fate very interesting and very mysterious. It seemed at times that the gods controlled fate but also it seemed that the main characters such as Achilleus had the choice to change their fate but in the end, but fate came out of control with the death of Patroklos. Achilleus' decision to avenge the death of Patroklos steered him toward his fate to die an early death. Achilleus' armor also seems to carry the fate of Achilles as both Patroklos and Hektor who wore his armor die in battle at a young age.

The emotional tensions in the Iliad's characters also were very interesting. Achilleus' agonyover the death of his friend was so great that he did not eat nor bath until he killed Hektor and he could bury Patroklos' body. Achilleus' rage clashed greatly with Agamemnon's will. Achilleus was so enraged and saddened by his loss he urged that the Achaean soldiers fight without eating or resting. His emotion was so great and powerful Achilleus was able to change the tides of battle with his presence. This focus on these emotions and desire for vengeance was a surprising theme to me. Characters such as Ajax, Odysseus and Achilleus had such a profound impact on the moral of the soldier along with the fatalism that sometimes seemed to be put forth by the gods but at other times seems to be controlled by no one.



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