The Iliad and the Fate Of Patroclus

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 1096 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

The Iliad and the Fate Of Patroclus

 
   Throughout The Iliad Of Homer, the constant theme of death is inherently

apparent.  Each main character, either by a spear or merely a scratch from an

arrow, was wounded or killed during the progression of the story.  For Zeus' son,

Sarpedon, it was a spear through the heart, and for Hector, it was the bronze of

the mighty Achilles through his neck which caused his early demise.  It seems

that no one could escape an agonizing fate.  Of these deaths, the most

interesting and intriguing death of all is that of Achilles' dear friend

Patroclus.  Although his life was taken by the mighty Hector's spear, who was

truly liable for his death?  The intricate story line of The

Iliad makes many possible answers available, but only one possibility

accurately explains the actions and events that led to this gruesome episode.

Patrocles was responsible for his own death.

 

     First of all, Patrocles was responsible for his own death because he

requested his insertion into the battle, fully knowing that the Achaeans were

being unmercifully defeated.  In Book XVI , Patroclus said,

 

               " Send me forth now at the head of the Myrmidon host

                  That I may be a light of hope to the Danaans.

                  And let me strap on my shoulders that armor of yours

                  That the zealous Trojans take me for you and quickly

                  Withdraw from the fighting."

 

     Because Achilles refused to help the Achaeans battle the Trojans, a

discontented Patroclus took the matter into his own hands by requesting

activation into battle disguised as Achilles in the hope of sending the Trojans

into a full retreat from the sight of him.  It is apparent that Patroclus was

willing to fight although the odds were greatly against him.  His vehemence

towards the Trojans coupled with his disappointment of Achilles gave him the

drive to conquer the Trojan army with or without the aid of Achilles.  In doing

so, Patroclus took an enormous risk that the Trojans would fall for his trick, a

risk with his life as the stakes.  Essentially, while pleading to Achilles for

battle, it was his own dark death for which he plead.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Iliad and the Fate Of Patroclus." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Sep 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=16632>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Justice and Love in the Iliad Essay - Simone Weil argues that the way Homer presents war and the use of force in the Iliad, in all of its brutality, violence, and bitterness bathes the work in the light of love and justice (pg 25). The point Weil is making is that by depicting the suffering of all of these men regardless of their side, or strength Homer equalizes them in a “condition common to all men”(pg 25). Because Homer equalizes them the reader can feel empathy, or at least compassion for all of the men. However while Weil is correct about how Homer’s descriptions of war and force reveal justice and love, she is wrong in thinking that justice and love are mere “accents” to the Iliad, and progress through the story “withou...   [tags: Iliad] 974 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Homer's Iliad Essay - Fate and Destiny in The Iliad The Iliad portrays fate and destiny as supreme and ultimate forces. The Iliad presents the question of who or what is finally responsible for a man's destiny, yet the answers to this question are not quite clear. In many instances, it seems that man has no control over his fate and destiny, but at other points, it seems as if a man's fate lies in the consequences of his actions and decisions. Therefore, The Iliad reveals a man sometimes controls his destiny....   [tags: Iliad essays] 932 words
(2.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Honor in the Iliad and Antigone - The notion of honor is prevalent throughout the Iliad and Antigone. Both texts demonstrate that honor is essential to Greek heroes because honor is the foundation of the society and family. Homer and Sophocles clearly show that honor guides people’s actions and responses and decides the fate of themselves and others. Both authors also place emphasis on the importance of proper burial because it is a strong indication of honor to the deceased and the deceased’s family. As can be seen in the Iliad and Antigone, the aim of every Greek hero is to gain everlasting honor because it ensures his place in the social memory of his society resounding even after death....   [tags: Honor, Iliad, Antigone,] 991 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Homer's Iliad is an Anthropocentric Epic Essay -       "So the immortals spun our lives that we, wretched men / live on to bear such torments...." (The Iliad bk.24, ln.613-614)      This pessimistic explanation of the human condition was a tradition observed and preserved by the ancient Greeks through the composition of Homer's Iliad. This one statement, made by the godlike Achilles to King Priam in the last chapter of the work, provides the reader a contextual summary of what the Greeks believed was their role in the cosmos. Homer's Iliad, among many other themes contained in the poem, “is an anthropocentric epic exposing the ancient Greek's views about man and his relationships”(Clarke 129)....   [tags: Iliad essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1545 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Gods in Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey Essay - The Gods in Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey The stories told in the Iliad and Odyssey are based on stories handed down over several generations, for they preserve (as we have seen) memories of an already quiet far distant past. The two pomes show clear connection in their language and style, in the manner in which their incidents presented, and in the combination of agreement with level, which distinguish their creation. The work was written by one author but gave two diverse views on the nature of the Olympian Gods, their relationship to humankind, and the general lot of mortals throughout their all too brief lives....   [tags: Homer The Iliad The Odyssey] 1407 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Deus Ex Machina And FaDeus ex Machina and Fate vs. Dutyin Homer's The Iliad and Virgil's The Aeneidte Vs. Duty - Deus ex Machina and Fate vs. Dutyin Homer's The Iliad and Virgil's The Aeneid The actions taken by the gods in the works of Homer's The Iliad and Virgil's The Aeneid are numerous and important. Both works gain their momentum from the activities of the gods, and without these heavenly actors the two stories would quickly become stagnant and fizzle out into inaction. The central divine driving force in both of the works is the wrath of two female gods: Juno(Hera:Greek) and Minerva(Athena:Greek). These two are responsible for much of the driving force in the two stories as they settle their vendetta with the Paris and the Trojans....   [tags: Iliad Aeneid Homer Virgil] 1032 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Comparison of Fate in Iliad and Oedipus Rex Essay - Fate in Iliad and Oedipus Rex In the stories The Iliad and Oedipus Rex, Oedipus and Achilles exemplified the portrayal of how a personal characters' fate may lay in their own hands. The egotistical mindset Oedipus held triggered one of the most tragic turns in his future, resembling Achilles. As for his excess pride, it resulted in the loss of his good friend Patroclus. Oedipus' boastful ways were the initiation of his disastrous downfall. A few years before Oedipus took reign of king, he was requested to step aside while a group of men passed....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays] 407 words
(1.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about HEROISM IN THE ILIAD - In the Iliad there are many characters that could be considered heroic. But the two main characters that stand out as heroes to me are swift-footed Achilles and flashing-helmet Hector. Numerous times throughout the epic they display qualities and traits that are unsurpassed by anyone on their side. Many times throughout the epic Achilles and Hector are tested for their strength, and will to win in battle, which for both warriors always ends up positive because they always win their battles. Although both fighters are among the elite status in the armies, they each show human and god-like qualities that help them be as a fierce and feared as possible....   [tags: Greek Literature] 1041 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Iliad by Homer Essay - What is a hero, and what is a true hero. In the Greek society, as perceived in Homer’s Iliad, to be a hero is to be “publicly recognized for one's valour on the battlefield” and to have a prize with it (Sale). In other words, a hero is someone who fights for his own fame and glory. However, the modern perception of a hero is quite different. A hero is someone who do not endeavor to become a hero, but someone who act in admirable ways, often for the better of everyone else. The modern concept of heroism is what defines a true hero....   [tags: greek, hero, true hero]
:: 3 Works Cited
1229 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Homers Iliad Essay examples - General Plot Summary of Homer\'s Iliad The Iliad is a lengthy poem of some 15,693 lines, divided into 24 books (cantos) and has as its theme the anger (menis) of the Greek hero Achilles, the greatest of the heroes to sail to Troy. In the tenth year of the war, Achilles quarrels with the leader of the expedition, Agamemnon, over a slight to Achilles\' honor. In his anger, Achilles withdraws from the fighting and wins the aid of Zeus, the king of the gods, to see to it that the war turns against the Greeks....   [tags: essays research papers] 733 words
(2.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches






 

      Next, because Patroclus ignored Achilles' warnings before battle, the

blame for his death can only be placed upon himself.  In Book XVI, Achilles said,

 

 

               " Do not, I tell you, get carried away

                  In the heat of conflict and slaughter and so lead the

men

                  Toward the city.  For one of the gods everlasting may

decide

                  To descend from Olympus and fight against you - Apollo,

                  For instance, who works from afar and dearly loves

                  All Trojans.  Come back, then, when once you have saved

the

                  Vessels, and let others go fighting across the plain."

 

In explanation, Achilles was saying that he wanted Patroclus to lead the

Myrmidons in an attack against the Trojans to drive them away from the ships.

Once that was done, he wanted Patroclus and the army to return because imminent

death surrounded Troy, antagonized by Zeus and Apollo.  However, Patroclus did

not heed this warning.  After going into battle and sending the Trojans into a

full retreat, Patroclus was overcome with fury over his slain comrade, Epeigeus,

and ordered a full scale attack upon the walls of Troy.

 

               " Then Patroclus, calling

                  Commands to the horses and to Automedon, drove

                  In pursuit of the Trojans and Lycians, blind foolhardy

child

                  That he was!  For had he obeyed the careful orders

                  of Peleus' son Achilles, he surely would then

                  Have escaped the miserable doom of murky death."

 

This passage in Book XVI foreshadowed how this grave mistake would lead to

Patroclus' death.  Because of his overwhelming desire to take revenge for the

many Achaeans defeated in battle, Patroclus failed to realize the accompanying

consequences to his suicide mission.  No one else made the decision to attack,

therefore, only Patroclus is to blame for his narrow minded decision which led

directly to his untimely demise.

 

      Finally, because of Patroclus' inferiority to Achilles in battle, he was

responsible for his own death. An example can be derived from a passage in Book

XVI from Apollo to Patroclus,

 

               " Fall back Zeus - descended Patroclus! It is not fated

                  That by your spear this town of the gifted Trojans

                  Shall be laid to waste, nor even by that of Achilles,

                  A man far batter than you."

 

This passage suggests the inferiority of Patroclus compared to Achilles.  If

Achilles was not fated to sack the city of Troy, how was Patroclus supposed to,

being only half the warrior that Achilles was?  Patroclus should have known this,

but his mind was clouded with anger and grief so he decided to do even what

Achilles could not and perished. Therefore, his inferiority to Achilles shown

through.  Another example took place after Patroclus defeated Hector's driver,

Cebriones.  While trying to strip the armor from the body, Patroclus and Hector

began to fight over the corpse.  Instead of following Achilles' orders and

returning to the ships, Patroclus went for the nucleus of the Trojan army and

tried to defeat Hector, as no other Achaean could do.  His fury overcame him and

inferiority to Achilles caused him to die.  Patroclus picked a fight with an

enemy aided by a god, and fell from glory with a combination of blows from

Apollo, Euphorbes, and Hector.  This inferiority to Achilles may have been the

primary reason that Patroclus' life came to an end that day at the hands of the

Trojan army.

 

      In conclusion, among the various themes of The Iliad of Homer, death is

one of the most apparent and moving themes to consistently appear throughout the

story.  Each death was described in full, graphic detail to more emphasize the

individual people and events for which this siege was taking place.  Each man

had a family and a story behind his life and death.  For Patroclus, however,

life was cut short by his poor decisions and unyielding fury toward the Trojans.

These, accompanied by his battle skills, greatly inferior to those of Achilles,

caused Patroclus to disregard Achilles' warnings of what fate the battle might

hold and attack Troy as well as Hector.  If these decisions had not been made,

Patroclus could have ridden beside Achilles in their sack of Troy.  Thus,

because of Patroclus' over - zealous and inferior battle decisions and behaviors,

it is apparent that he is solely responsible for his own death.

 

Works Cited and Consulted:

Homer: Iliad. Trans. Stanley Lombardo. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1994.

Schein, Seth L. The Mortal Hero: An Introduction to Homer's Iliad. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.


Return to 123HelpMe.com