Malouf emphasises the significance family has on characters and illustrates this through the pain and grief of Achilles. He loses his humanity as he destroys Hector’s body. Priam also suffers loss and grief in the death of his son Hector. This leads Priam to have a vision, an epiphany, of a way to get back Hector’s body. When he and Achilles meet, he uses humanity to persuade Achilles by asking him “Think Achilles.
He had decided to kill Agamemnon but Athena came to him, sent by Hera, and told him to get his anger under control. With that he left in anger and stayed by his ships drowning in sorrow. Here was the fearsome warrior brought to his knees by the loss of a woman, a prize, a piece of property, taken from him by another. He did not fight in the war for a time due to his anger and humiliation but when his best friend Patroclus was slain by Hector he was driven by revenge and rejoined the fight. Hector was considered the warrior-champion for the Trojans, who had persuaded the Trojan warriors to leave Troy and the safety it provided while Achilles was not taking part in the battle.
This lack of self-centeredness is observed through the actions of Hector throughout the entire epic and his compassion for others is prominent in his notion of Greek justice. When Hector firsts steps into the plot of the Iliad, we witness his passion to fight and protect his city. In fact, Hector calls out his brother for not fighting. If Paris had not taken Helen as his prize, then this war may have never occurred. In book three, after Paris’ responds to Hector’s criticisms, Paris offers to prove himself in a fight with Menelaus in order to settle the war.
Aeschylus was a Greek playwright during the Classical Era of Greece, whose attitude about war was affected by the Persian wars he fought in and the histories of the Trojan War. Aeschylus wanted to transform the peoples’ ideas about cycles of revenge and bloodshed to those of democracy and transcendent law. Transcendent law is a high law that applies to everyone. When people kill each other for vengeance they are taking the law into their own hands. When the law is taken into the hands of each individual the people live in a state of lawlessness.
It is here that Achilles ends his withdrawal from battle, and it is the shield and armor forged for him by the smith-god Hephaestus that enables him to seek revenge against Hector for the slaying of his dearest friend and comrade Patroclus. Awash in the agony of his grief, Achilles determines to ignore the warnings of his goddess mother Thetis that his own death will follow quickly on the heels of his revenge. Once the mortal Achilles is newly armed in the armor fashioned for him by the immortal Hephaestus, the events that will ultimately lead to the destruction of Troy and the defeat of her protector Hector are set in motion. Since Hephaestus cannot “hide him away from death and its sorrow,”3 he agrees to make Achilles a set of armor so fine “that any man in the world of men will marvel at through all the years to come – whoever sees its splendor.”4 However, the imagery that Hephaestus selects to place on Achilles’ shield is not that which the audience would have 1 Simone Weil, "The Iliad, Poem of Might," in The Simone Weil Reader, ed. George A. Panichas (New York: David McKay Company, 1977).
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.
A character will fail to come across as heroic without self-sacrifice. It is the altruistic act, the putting of others before oneself, that separates the bloodthirsty Achilles from the heroic Ajax. From the outset, Achilles is depicted as rash, selfish and a megalomaniac. Feeling robbed of glory after Agamemnon stole Breseis away, Achilles states that one day “… a yearning for Achilles will strike Achaea’s sons… nothing you do can save you - not when your hordes of fighters drop and die… Then you will tear your heart out, desperate, raging that you disgraced the best of the Achaeans” (1. 281-286).
<br> It all began when Agamemnon stole away Briseis, Achillesâ€™ woman. To ease the <br>anger Achilles had for Agamemnon, Thetis asked Zeus to provide honor for her son, <br>Achilles. Zeus granted her request by promising that the Achaeans would suffer enough <br>losses to force Agamemnon to come begging for Achillesâ€™ help. <br> The first major change in Achilles was caused by his rage toward Agamemnon. <br>Achilles, the great warrior, allowed his wrath to infest his desire to help his own comrades <br>in the battle against the Trojans.
It is the intemperance of the man, famously referred to as the “rage of Achilles,” which is perhaps his tragic flaw, a failing which resulted in the unnecessary deaths of untold scores of Greeks and Trojans and nearly spelled complete destruction for the Greek fleet. Driven by his ill-tempered thirst for glory and prizewinning, Achilles is unable to control himself in the face of humiliation and defeat. It is this character flaw which makes the son of Peleus an unacceptable role model. We begin the Iiad with Achilles already in a rage as victory in the Trojan War, the epic confrontation between Ilium and Hellas sprung from the Trojan abduction of Helen of Troy from her lawful Greek husband Menelaus, looms overhead, the Greeks having finally sacked one of the last remaining Trojan allied towns and now preparing to march on the glorious city of Troy itself. In the looting of the town the Greek King Agamemnon had claimed Chryseis as a war prize while Achilles claimed Briseis.
The Iliad is the first great book, and the first great book about the suffering and loss of war. Homer, for reasons of his own, suppressed the truth about the Trojan war- in reality, the Greeks lost. Homer once said, “Men learn with difficulty… But they are deceived only too readily”. In The Iliad, two characters have the narrative urge, and something approaching a synoptic view of the scenes surging around them. Achilles sings stories of heroes' deeds in battle, and Helen embroiders scenes of fighting on an elaborate textile.