ACHILLES’ CHARACTER AS AN INTERNAL CRITIQUE OF WARMONGERING IDEALS IN THE ILIAD

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Abstract

In this paper, I show how Achilles’ faults work as a lens through which we more readily see the problematic nature of ideals that cast war – and especially an aggressive war of conquest – in a poeticized and desirable light. I argue that in Homer’s Iliad, idealized images of war, which promise super-human glory, in the end, serve to undo and waste human life. I do not mean to say that in this archetypal war epic we find an outright critique of war. However, I argue that the Iliad holds its poeticized images of war in tension with the gruesome, life-negating violence to which these idealized representations give way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-565
Number of pages16
JournalSchole
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Anger
  • egotistical self-love
  • psychology
  • shame
  • solipsism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Philosophy

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