Describe Achilles' anger in the Iliad.

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The rage of Achilles is a central theme in the Iliad. Homer begins the story by asking the muse to tell him the story--not of the Trojan War--but of Achilles' rage. Homer blames Achilles for the loss of countless Greek lives, and this blame is justified.

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The rage of Achilles is a central theme in the Iliad. Homer begins the story by asking the muse to tell him the story--not of the Trojan War--but of Achilles' rage.

Rage - Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end.

Homer blames Achilles for the loss of countless Greek lives, and this blame is justified. Achilles rages at Agamemnon for stealing his concubine, and in his rage he refuses to fight against the Trojans. Achilles was the most powerful Greek warrior, so his absence from the battlefield (and the compassion of the goddesses who sympathized with him) resulted in the deaths of numerous Greek soldiers.

Later on, Achilles does fight, but not until his dear friend, Patroclus, dies in combat at the hands of Hector. Once again, Achilles rages, but this time he directs his rage toward Hector. He kills Hector, but he does not behave honorably afterwards. You see, revenge never satisfies one the way he believes it will. Achilles was still angry, so he desecrated Hector's dead body, debasing himself in the process.

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