It Is His View of Hector That Achilles Must Wrestle with to Achieve Peace of Mind

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In David Malouf’s Ransom Achilles has two battles, one with the Trojans and the hardest with himself. Malouf also explores the quest to retrieve Hector’s body, whilst also reflecting on Achilles’ emotional upheaval following Patroclus’ death. Throughout the novel, Malouf predominantly focuses on protagonists Priam King of Troy and ‘Achilles the Warrior’, however, early in the novel there is also emphasis on the significance of Hector to Achilles. The role that Hector plays in reminding Achilles of himself and being used as a tool of the Gods to mock him, is essential to the source of Achilles ‘endless rage’. Furthermore, Malouf uses Hector to provide a link between the two protagonists, a link that results in the release of Achilles from his grief and anger. Achilles and Patroclus had a bond that brought them together like brothers “adoptive brother” and Achilles saw him as the “new centre” of his life. Despite Patroclus being a killer in his childhood he exceeds this to become more ‘pure heart’ as an adult. He is torn between his love for Achilles and disappointment at the unheroic sulking of his brother. Unlike Achilles, Patroclus is able to put the greater good before petty personal issues, this is what kills him as he cannot truly see what Achilles is doing and instead gets himself killed wearing Achilles armour by Hector, this loss is too much for Achilles and drives him into emotional darkness. Malouf further induces Achilles into rage and despair through his portrayal of Hector’s corpse as a tool of the Gods. ‘For eleven days’ Achilles, in vain, continues to deface and insult Hector’s body by dragging it around the walls and towers of Troy, in an attempt to ‘break the spell’ that he believes the Gods have laid upon him. However, each day that Achilles begins this ritual, he is met with a mocking message from the immortal world, the full restoration of

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