Iliad Questions and Answers
by Homer

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How does Achilles change over the course of the Iliad?

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Achilles comes into the Iliad a glorious and prideful hero, demanding due respect and prizes for the acts of glory and talent he displays on the battlefield at Troy. This can be seen in Book One when he quarrels with Agamemnon. During a siege on a Trojan ally, the Achaeans capture two beautiful women as war prizes. One of them, named Briseis, is given to Achilles, and one is given to Agamemnon. The reader finds out that the young woman given to Agamemnon is the priest of Apollo's daughter. When the priest of Apollo requests that Agamemnon return his daughter, Agamemnon refuses, and Apollo sends a plague down on the Greeks as punishment. Finally, Agamemnon relents and returns the daughter but now, being bereft of prize, takes Achilles's maiden for his own. This act of insult causes Achilles's pride and selfish desire for honor to be spotlighted. He is furious and, in his anger, refuses to fight for the Achaeans, turning his back on the troops who were comforted and encouraged by his...

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