Why Does Achilles Return Hector's Body to Priam? | schizofrenia.info
This war between the city of Troy and the armies of most Greek kings, collectively known as the Achaeans, Priam begs Achilles for the body of his son Hector. Watch Troy! Achilles hated Agamemnon, but needed him in order to fight. Achilles wanted more than anything to be remembered for the fights. In Greek mythology, Priam was the legendary king of Troy during the Trojan War. His many Priam is killed during the Sack of Troy by Achilles' son Neoptolemus ( also known as Pyrrhus). son from the Iliad), a later ruler of the city of Wilusa who established peace between Wilusa and Hatti (see the Alaksandu treaty).
Also, Iris does not reveal her true identity, but merely states that she is a messenger from Zeus Indeed, Hecuba vehemently reacts to the desire of her husband to undertake such a dangerous journey, whereas Priam himself does not rule out the possibility of his being slain by Achilles On the other hand, in his dialogue with Hecuba he does not actually aim to negotiate his decision.
He may ask for her opinion, but he clearly says that his heart commands him to go the camp of the Achaeans Clearly, the divine will functions only as an additional — and even uncertain — motivation of an already expressed intention. Likewise, Hermes expresses his surprise when he sees an old man fearlessly intruding upon an inimical place at night-time and bringing with him such a treasure Ah, unhappy man, full many in good sooth are the evils you have endured in your soul.
How have you the heart to come alone to the ships of the Achaeans, to meet the eyes of me that have slain your sons many and valiant? Of iron verily is your heart. There is nothing they can do, for that was his fate: She therefore accepts the facts as they are and limits her reaction to a sorrowful lamentation within the palace He is eager to act and reverse this situation, even if 12 Pratt In fact, Priam latently appeals to the heroic ideals of the warrior society when he rebukes his nine surviving sons for their unheroic nature, while praising those slain, especially Hector, as brave and manly His courage, boldness, determination, and vigorous commands for the preparations of the visit are distinctive traits of the hero-figure.
While his young, living children simply prepare the wagon for the journey, Priam actually makes this journey, paradoxically proving himself more heroic than his living warrior-sons, despite his old age.
Interestingly, the previous image of the unheroic Priam, who was earnestly begging his child not to join the war, is replaced by an active and heroic man who is ready to encounter the enemy and jeopardize his life.
These two contradictory attitudes are motivated by the same driving force, paternal love.
His role as father is not only the motivation of his actions, but also one of the reasons of their success, for, as we have already shown, it is through the appeal to the father-son bond that Priam manages to affect the emotional state of Achilles, establish a sense of closeness between them, and compass his end.
Nowhere does he feel any sense of guilt similar to that Achilles feels for his father, and nowhere does he perceive his role as a warrior as incompatible with his filial obligations. In other words, he sees his heroic and filial identities as inextricably interwoven and interdependent.
He has already made clear that aidos is a powerful motive for his participation in war 6. On the one hand, Priam shows genuine paternal affection and care, and is driven to bold and dangerous deeds out of love for his son.
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If Hector manages to reconcile the obligations of his heroic and filial personas, Priam has difficulties with extenuating the tension between his paternal and royal roles as well as resolving the conflict between his paternal desire and the precepts of the heroic code. At crucial moments, he tends to set aside his royal identity and to disregard the values of the warrior society, defining his attitude and actions in accordance with his fatherly quality.
Discussion 16 Contrast Pratt The present study not only lends further support to the significance of the father-son relationship, but it also reaches a series of additional conclusions regarding the attitude of the father toward his son, the duties of the son toward his father, and the way in which paternal and filial obligations often conflict with the dictates of the heroic code.
The father undertakes the instrumental task of raising his son according to the values that underlie the warrior society. It is interesting that the heroic values can be taught even by fathers like Peleus or Priam, who are not presented as distinguished warriors.
In these positive father-son relationships, the ultimate desire of the father is to see his son surpassing him in excellence and prestige. When a person is endowed with the paternal role, he never ceases to be defined by it, not even when his son or he himself dies. In reality, the offer of adequate funerary rites is an important duty of the son toward his father, but in wartime the balances are reversed and it is very often the case that it is the father who undertakes this sorrowful task.
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On the other hand, the paternal role transgresses the boundaries between the two worlds and continues to preoccupy deceased fathers like Achilles, who eagerly asks Odysseus about his son Neoptolemus Once he hears that Neoptolemus is brave, victorious, respectable, and skilled in speech he departs, glorying at his 11 As outlined above, sons are indebted to their fathers and feel the need to pay back what they have previously done for them. Certainly, the so-called threptra the return for rearing 20 is a feature of the positive father-son relationships.
This recompense is based on a sort of exchange and is defined by reciprocity; a caring father like Priam deserves and can expect to be aided by his son in old age. Yet, several examples suggest that this is not the case. Priam tries to protect his son even when the latter is nothing more than a desecrated corpse; and Achilles, though an infernal denizen, is still concerned with the wellbeing of his son.
Obviously, even when this service exchange between father and son can no longer operate, fathers do not renounce their parental roles. Although the father-son relationship is extremely significant, it is often incompatible with the warrior society within which it operates. On the other hand, the warrior himself, who actively participates in war, prioritizes his heroic role.
Why Does Achilles Return Hector's Body to Priam?
Conclusion Having proved the significance of the father-son relationship and having investigated its various aspects and expressions, we can at this point answer a crucial question: For the theme of threptra, see Falkner Differently put, what is its narrative significance?
As far as we can tell from the above analysis, the father-son bond performs two functions that serve the broader needs of the epic narrative.
Firstly, it brings out the human aspect of the Homeric characters and presents them as complete men; they are not only members of an army, but they are first and foremost members of a family, sons and fathers themselves.
Secondly, in the context of a poem that focuses on heroic military achievements, the father-son relationship brings to the fore the negative sides of war, especially through the figure of the bereaved father. The Poetics of Supplication: University of Oklahoma Press.
The Descent from Heaven: Every battle Achilles is in, he leads his men to victory. However, after having a hot-tempered argument with King Agamemnon, the leader of the Achaeans, Achilles refuses to fight anymore and stays in his tent.
Losing confidence, the Achaeans begin to lose battles. Hoping to drive the Trojans back, a good friend of Achilles named Patroclus persuades Achilles to let him borrow the great man's armor. Patroclus asks to borrow the armor to fool people into thinking he is Achilles so the Achaeans will be inspired and the Trojans will be demoralized. The plan works for awhile with the Achaeans pushing back the Trojans.Troy [extended edition] Achilles learns about Patroclus's death
When Achilles hears that Patroclus died, he fills with rage. He rejoins the fighting, crushing Trojans who are in his way, then demands to face Hector.
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The one-on-one combat ends with Achilles killing Hector. Still pulsing with anger and needing to satisfy his revenge and grief for having lost Patroclus, Achilles allows Achaean soldiers to stab and mutilate Hector's corpse. Then Achilles ties the body to his chariot and drags it behind. The Gods Consideration This desecration of Hector's corpse is one of the most vulgar instances of disrespect in Ancient Greek culture.
Ancient Greeks believed that if a body is not prepared correctly, the recently deceased would not find peace in the afterlife. Achilles' actions stressed how enraged he was and how deeply he grieved for his lost friend.
However, this desecration also displeased the gods. Apollo takes pity on Hector and protects his body from the worst harm. The gods argue back and forth, but eventually Zeus, the king of the gods, sends Achilles' mother Thetis to request that Achilles return the body of Hector to the dead man's father for a ransom of gold. Achilles agrees in order to show respect for the gods. To make sure the exchange takes place, the gods arrange for safe passage of the Trojan leader, King Priam.