Achillies Essay

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Aristotle said that the man who is incapable of working in common, or who in his self-sufficiency has no need of others, is no part of the community, and is like a beast or a god. Discuss the character of Achilles in light of this statement. Use plenty of examples, details, references, and quotations in the response. Achilles is a very important character of Iliad. He was very brutal: "Would to god my rage, my fury would drive me now / to hack your flesh away and eat you raw"(22.408-409). He was the mightiest of the Greeks and he had such a great deal of confidence in him that he decided to act on his own when his slave princess was taken away. Because of his self confidence; he failed to act like a common man. Achilles’ refusal to eat with other warriors suggests that he put his ego before everyone else. He fits the description of Aristotle's quote “the man who is incapable of working in common”. Again when he killed Hector and dragged his corpse around the castle all day; he actually put the lives of the people in danger. All these suggest that all he cared about himself and he did not have much love for the community. Self Sufficiency means the ability to maintain oneself without outside aid, capable of providing for one’s own need. It also means to have an extreme confidence in one’s own ability or worth. Achilles was self sufficient; which means he so strong that he alone can win battles. He did not need or seek any help from others. So according to this; Achilles does fit the description that Aristotle described in his quote. The other aspect that he was not self-sufficient is that he was fond of women and he needed nothing but the need for women. He was known to have a number of romantic episodes. Hence if we consider this aspect; the description contradicts the portrayal by Aristotle. Achilles was so strong and powerful that he believed he is above

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