It is not until the end of the play that he seems to have changed into a new psychologically and emotionally mature adult, if at all. Throughout the Iliad, Achilles’ pride, and arrogance keep him from developing into a new more mature man, because his blind and unrelenting rage constantly consumes him. From the start you know that Achilles is one of the greatest Greek warriors ever known, if not the best. But being undetectable doesn’t make you a good person.
In fact, at the start of the story, Achilles general attitude towards the ovary and his own involvement was less than desirable. Agamemnon had recently threatened to return Bribers, Achilles’ war prize, because he was forced to do so with his own. As a result, Achilles becomes infuriated and selfishly withdraws his men and himself from the battle, After these events, Achilles is seen as very arrogant and ignorantly proud. Lines 172-178 in Book one give an example of Achilles arrogance, “l never get a prize equal to yours when the army captures one of the Trojan strongholds.
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No, do all the dirty work with my own hands, and when the battle’s over and we divide the loot you get the lion’s share and go back to the ships with some pitiful little thing, so worn out from fighting don’t have the strength left even to complain”(172-178). He is so full of himself and caught up in materialistic things, that Achilles forgets the fact that Agamemnon is a higher rank than him. He shows the ultimate disrespect to his elder and treats him like a lower life form. Pride is just one Of the hurdles that prevents Achilles from becoming a more deliberative character.
Achilles sees himself as the best there is, so he feels no need to show anyone except the gods’ respect. It is because of this lack of respect that Achilles selfishly decided not to fight. He wanted to teach Agamemnon a lesson at the rest of the Greek army’s expense. If Achilles had fought from day nee, the battle could have been over in hours, and he knew that. The fact that he was more concerned and upset about his pride being tarnished than the Greeks losing shows how truly selfish and narcissistic Achilles really is. Even after Agamemnon assembly had attempted to convince Achilles to join the tray, he says “… Swell with rage when think of how the son of Taters treated me like dirt in public, as it were some worthless tramp. Now go, and take back this message: won’t lift a finger in this bloody Book 9). This passage shows how far his injured pride is taking him, and just how set he is on making Agamemnon offer for his mistakes. Agamemnon and the rest of the Greeks would surely have suffered had it not been for Patrols’ death. When Patrols Vass killed in battle, Achilles lost it. He was so blinded by this fury that he didn’t even care about the grudge he previously held against Agamemnon.
Although he was no longer mad at Agamemnon, he was now furious with Hector and the Greeks. Patrols’ death served as the event that redirected Achilles hatred and wrath towards the Trojan. Achilles’ never ending rage failed to dissipate and as a result he mercilessly killed any one in his way between he and Hector. His uncontrollable anger is another obstacle in the way of Achilles’ transformation. In almost every situation, Achilles allows his anger to get the best of him. For example when Locally begs for mercy from Achilles, he doesn’t even consider granting it. Shut up, fool, and stop talking ransom. Before Patrols met his destiny it was more to my taste to spare Trojan lives… But now they all die, every last Trojan… ‘(105-109). Achilles has no interest in sparing lives; his only interest is to brutally kill every last Trojan so he may avenge Patrols’ death. Even if Achilles had destroyed all t the Trojan, his anger would still reside within him; he is not solving anything by brutally murdering his enemy. Sometimes, Achilles’ anger takes him too far, even for an immortal born.
At one point in the battle, Achilles drives some Trojan men to the river Acanthus. He ruthlessly kills and tosses the bodies into the waterway, displeasing the river god Acanthus. The river god pleads Achilles to stop the killing by the river, but once again his anger gets the better of him. “As you wish, sky-bred Commander. But will not stop killing these insolent Trojan until have penned the all inside their itty and taken on Hector. It’s him or me now'(232-235 kick 21). He disregards the rivers warnings and begins to actually fight the river deity; which even for Achilles would have resulted in death.
Even in the face of certain death, Achilles’ anger continues to blind and influence his actions. Achilles allows his anger to influence his decision-making skills and actions in situations where he should not. For instance, after Achilles defeated Hector in battle he completely desecrated and disgraced the body. This is something that is greatly frowned upon in Greek society. In Greek society, after someone dies, he natural next step is to remember him or her at a funeral. Which is when the body is burned so the soul may move on to the underworld.
By keeping Hectors body and by dragging it behind a chariot, Achilles disrespects Hector and his family. “It was shame and defilement Achilles had in mind for Book 22); Achilles wants nothing more than to disrespect Hector to his fullest potential. Another situation in which Achilles allows his anger to influence his actions is when he sacrificed twelve innocent Trojan men. At patrols’ funeral, Achilles willingly sacrifices twelve Trojan tort his friend. While he is speaking for Patrols, Achilles says, “l hail you Patrols even in Hades!
I am fulfilling all that I promised before, to drag Hector here and feed him raw to the dogs, and to cut the throats of twelve fine Trojan boys before your pyre, in my rage at your murder(22-26 Book 23). Achilles is basically saying that everything he did avgas out of anger for his death. I think it is safe to say that all of Achilles actions, not only the one’s involving avenging Patrols, were done out of anger. Some say that Achilles’ transformation takes place after Prima speaks to him about Hectors body. In this scene, Prima begs Achilles to return Hectors body so that it may get a proper burial.
Some believe that Prism’s pathetic pleas to see his son are what changed Achilles mind, because they reminded him of his own father Whom he Will never see again. He fears that his Own father is experiencing what Prima is. Achilles cannot stand to imagine his own father acting that way, and is therefore filled With intense grief. But that does not provide enough proof to say that Achilles was actually a fully changed man at the end of the story, because Achilles experienced the same kind Of grief and pain here as he did hen Patrols was killed.
Throughout the entire story of the Iliad, Achilles is too blinded by rage and pride for anyone to say that he undergoes a character change. His motives for fighting, and killing were always out of hatred and rage. He mercilessly mauled his opponents, sacrificed innocent men, and even desecrated Hectors body. His uncontrollable anger and rage are serious flaws that affected his decision-making skills, In conclusion Achilles’ brutal actions and character flaws prevent him from ever dully transforming into a new self-reflective character.