Achilles Rage Essay

885 Words4 Pages
Achilles's rage: Portrayed Through Painting and Story The Iliad by Homer depicts a story of Achilles, an enraged Demigod who is pronounced the greatest warrior of all time and a hero to many. A vase painting depicts the savagery and brutality of Achilles's rage and springs from a story in the Iliad when King Priam's eldest son Hector mistakenly killed Patroclus. Achilles's brother in arms and dear friend Patroclus had foolishly worn Achilles's armor and led his Mymidon army into battle. Hector, thinking Patroclus was Achilles, killed Patroclus only to soon discover that he made a grave mistake that would cost him dearly. The vase painting depicts the charged scene from the Illiad in the moments after an enraged Achilles sought revenge and killed Hector. The painting vividly portrays the events that unfold from Achilles's rage and the positioning of the medium in the object provides a visually strong impact on the viewer, whereas Homers's Illiad---through the use of words---unfurls in greater detail the severity of Achilles rage, his defiling of Hectors body, and his defiance to the gods. The portion of the myth in Illiad that is depicted in the vase painting is of King Priam groveling and pleading with the mighty demigod and thief of his son’s body, Achilles. Old King Priam stands in the middle of the painting, bearded and wearing a robe. When viewing King Priam, the viewer can quickly deduce his fragility and age through the depiction of his use of a walking stick when he faces Achilles. The king is followed by a uniform group of smaller figures which appear to be servants carrying offerings to Achilles. To understand the portrayal of the myth, the viewer must deduce that these gifts are offered for the return of Prince Hector’s body. The artist skillfully crafted the servants in a smaller scale, which emphasizes the enlarged figure of the King. Even larger
Open Document