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Free College Essays – The Character of Achilles in Homer’s Iliad

The Character of Achilles in Homer’s Iliad

The story of Homer’s Iliad actually centers around the “rage of Achilles, contrary to popular belief. At first thought or reading the epic poem seems like its main theme is utlimately the totality and gruesomness of war. In reality it is an ancient “Saving Private Ryan” in that it tells us of the raw details of war without any lack of description and information. However this ultimate devistation and emotion of the actual fighting and Trojan War is not the main focal point of this heroic tale. The real story centers on one awesome fighter, man, and hero–that man is Achilles.

Achilles shows the greatest military prowess of any of the Achaean ranks and has the greatest fighting ability of all of the warriors, Trojan or Achaean. At the beginning of Homer’s tale Achilles becomes disenfranchised from the rest of his fellow warriors and chooses to retreat back to his own ships of Myrmidons and refuses to fight for the Achaean cause against the Trojans. Not only is Achilles plauged and troubled by problems with his fellow soldiers, but he ultimately must face the fact that he has chosen to live a short and glorious life, as opposed to his other option of a long and blase life. Achilles knows that he must ultimately die in the heat of battle and gain great fame for doing so–if he actually existed and the story is true in this respect then he certainly has ascertained immortal fame in the pages of Homer’s tale.

Achilles eventually returns to fight on the side of the Achaeans, but not because of anything Agamemnon offers to him in order to get him to return to the fighting. Achilles’ best friend and essential “soul-mate”, Patroclus, is slain at the hands of the mighty Hector of Troy.

Achilles is hence distraught at this happening and therefore goes to wreak his own havoc with the life of Hector to gain revenge. He manages to eventually kill many Trojans and then finally after chasing Hector several times around the city of Troy, slays him and desecrates his body by dragging him excessively as somewhat of an artifice to get his stored up hate, anger, and fear out.

The Guilt of Shakespeare’s Macbeth

The Guilt of Macbeth

There is guilt throughout the play that motivates Macbeth. This guilt drives Lady Macbeth to insanity, which in the end causes the death of Lady Macbeth. Throughout the play Macbeth’s deeds do no good his for conscious and his inheritance of the throne. There have been several occasions that Macbeth had experienced his guilt of the crimes he committed and the feeling of the fact that he was to be overthrown. After Macbeth kills King Duncan he feels guilty after committing this crime. Throughout the play there are several times where Macbeth is fallen guilty of his crimes, as well as his lady.

after killing Duncan. Macbeth says,

Methought I heard a voice cry, Sleep no more!

Macbeth does murder sleep…(act2, scene2)

to Lady Macbeth after he killed Duncan. As he hears this you tell that Macbeth is starting to feel guilty of the horrible deed he has done.

I’ll go no more.

I am afraid to think what I have done.

Look on’t again I dare not.(act2, scene2)

Macbeth says this during the conversation between him and Lady Macbeth after Macbeth killed Duncan. At this point in the play Lady Macbeth still hasn’t had any guilt to the crimes she’s been apart of.

The second appearance that Macbeth becomes guilt stricken is in act three scene one. The scene starts off with Macbeth talking with Banquo. Macbeth is planning on killing Banquo because he fears that Banquo is becoming quite suspicious. So Macbeth plans on killing Banquo, while Banquo goes out for his night ride with his son Fleance. Due to this Macbeth starts to regain the guilt of him killing Duncan.

For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered,

put rancors in the vessel of my peace…(act3,scene1)

Macbeth states this before he commands Banquo’s death. At this point Macbeth seems to be as if he is in quick sand; the more he tries to get out the deeper he falls.

Lady Macbeth has finally reached the end of her sanity, she starts to do some really odd things during the night.

I have seen her rise from her bed,

throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper,

fold it, write upon’t, read it, afterwards seal it, and

again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast

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