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Achilles’ Internal Struggle

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Achilles is a great worrier. He serves as a focal point for Iliad. He helps Greeks to defeat Trojans in the severe battle and gain the control over Troy.

The external conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon is evident when they express different opinions about the war. Achilles withdrew from the battle after their disagreement with Agamemnon who goes ahead to dishonor him. Notably, Agamemnon had taken refuge Chryseis, the daughter of priest Apollo, and made her a slave. His father had begged Agamemnon to return her in vain. As a result, Greeks experienced nine days of plaque. The Greek army was the main target of the plaque which was caused by Apollo. King Agamemnon is adamant to let Chryseis go to her father and states that he will maintain her capture. It is only under the great pressure from the leader of Myrmidon, Achilles that he allows Chryseis to go to her father.  After this, Apollo ends the plaque.

The plaque was a sign of disobedience to Apollo on the part of Agamemnon. Despite the fact that the prophet Calchas knew the cause of the plaque, he refused to talk as he feared. Thus, he sought Achilles to protect him. He announced that Chryseis must be retuned to her father. Although Agamemnon agreed, he gave a new command that the battle price that Achilles had been given in the war was given to him to replace Chryseis. This was the highest degree of dishonor to Achilles. However, Achilles refused to consent with the new command of setting his troops alongside other Greeks. His mother Thetis urged him to avoid setting forces against themselves. This marks the external struggle that exists between Agamemnon and Achilles.

Achilles’ internal struggle over the nature of the war and the reservations about the value of the war is vividly evident. At this time, Achilles’ rage against the dishonor by Agamemnon had reached the peak and he decided to use his mother to help him to convince Zeus to give victory in the war to the Trojans. As a result he could be able to regain his lost honor from Agamemnon. He secluded himself from the army participating in the war against Trojans and opted to stay in his camp when others were in the battle field (Robin 79). Agamemnon had sent him gifts trying to convince him to come back to the battle field in vain. He was greatly depressed by the actions of Agamemnon, especially for taking his Breseis.

Trojans began to show progress against Agamemnon. This was due to the influence by Zeus. Indeed, the troops began to experience defeat. This was due to the fact that Achilles was angry and had taken a step to urge the king to please the warrior (Robin 160). As a result, Agamemnon decided to send Odysseus among other two chieftains to Achilles and show his desire to restore his honor. However, Achilles declined the offer of returning the Breseis and other gifts. Indeed, he urged his troops to sail home with him and moved away from the battle field.

Achilles had developed a loyal relationship with Patroclus. Hector led his troops and pushed the Greeks to the verge of destruction. In his response, Patroclus decided to lead the Myrmidons in the battle as he wore Achilles armor (Robin 120). At this time, Achilles had remained in his camp. Patroclus experienced some sort of success in pushing the Trojans to the beaches. As the fate would have it, he was killed by Hector before he could organize a proper assault against the city of Troy. The death of Patroclus made Achilles to grieve for long. He was his only beloved companion and a friend. Thus, he organized and held several funeral games in his honor. Indeed, his mother, Thetis comforted him as she travelled to the camp. Achilles at this time was in great distraught. With the help of Hephaestus, Achilles made a new armor as his previous armor had been taken by Hector from Patroclus body.

At this particular time, Achilles was in rage and was seeking revenge over Hector. After the death of Patroclus, Achilles decided to fight again (Robin 188). He killed many men in the field. However, his main aim was to seek Hector. He went ahead to engage the war with the river god Scamander.

The god was angry because, Achilles was choking his water with the men he killed in the battle. In his effort to drawn Achilles in the river, Hera and Hephaestus intervened and thwarted his actions (Robin 120). Zeus was angry and decided to send gods to restrain his effort in fighting. Achilles then chased Hector and decided to fight face to face with him.

Achilles’ fury was so violent that Zeus allowed gods to intervene. Zeus saw that Achilles’ strength was beyond control by the Trojans. In deed, he drove them to their great gates due to his burning anger. Surprisingly, the gods fought among themselves. Achilles runs after the Trojans till their gates were opened (Robin 86). It was after Apollo pretending to be a Trojan intervened and led Achilles away from the gates. At this time, all Trojans had retreated to their city. It was only Hector who had remained in the battle field.

There was an intense confrontation between Achilles and Hector. Hector was responsible for the death of Patroclus, Achilles’ closest friend. Therefore, Achilles was seeking any chance to revenge. As he fought in the field killing several men, he saw the right moment to chase his prey, Hector. In awe, Hector was chased three times round the walls of Troy. Hector knew that the war between him and Achilles was inevitable.  He threw his only weapon, the sword, to Achilles. Unfortunately, he missed his target.

Hector upon realizing his fate begged Achilles to treat his body with respect after he killed him. Nevertheless, Achilles declared that, “my rage, my fury would drive me now to hack your flesh away and eat you raw”. His wishes were hopeless as Achilles was not there to treat any body with respect. Hector had caused Achilles great agony. Thus, Achilles saw this as a chance to execute his final vengeance. He, therefore, humiliated Hector after death. He even did not treat his body with honor and he was out for revenge.

At the end, Achilles reconciled with the king Priam. King Priam was Hector’s father. After his son was killed by Achilles, he received the news and sought the assistance of god Hermes to go to Achilles. He approached his tent and pleaded with Achilles so that he could allow him to carry out the funeral rites for his son, Hector. Hector’s funeral marked the final passage in the Iliad where Troy was also at the verge of doom.

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