Hamlet vs. Achilles

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The characters of Hamlet and Achilles, even though from very different time periods, encompass many of the same themes and characteristics. These two characters have many close comparisons, but upon closer inspection they differ on a grand scale. This is immanently due mainly to the time period and culture that each character was submersed in and how each character was supposed to act and to extenuate the main essence of the individual culture. Achilles was considered one of, if not, greatest warrior of the Trojan War in Homer’s Iliad. What made Achilles such an honorable hero was the fact that he fought for his own pride, not the desire to conquer the war. Although throughout the war, Achilles character flaws impede his ability to fight and act with integrity. His insurmountable rage is the epitome of these flaws, showing vibrantly through his rage for Agamemnon and ultimately destroying his integrity. His never ending lust for glory is the reason why his rage surmounts from a poisoned pride, which is his real Achilles’ heel. This arrogance leads him to becoming slightly obsessed with retaining his pride and not letting anyone slight his bravado. To uphold his name and pride, he mauls his opponents without remorse, heroically takes on the river Xanthus, and even sacrifices twelve Trojan men at Patrocius’ funeral (Cook, 57). Though finally in the final chapter, Achilles shows his remorseful side when he’s reminded of his father when Priam asks for Hector’s defiled body back (Cook, 48). Achilles encompasses many traits immanent in the culture of his time period, mostly of honor and glory for his name, but he also relinquishes those traits with a forgiving side of remorse and grief, even though it usually ends in intense anguish. On the contrary, Hamlet embraces several of these characteristics in the form of a very different character. He is a very

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