Last Updated on August 6, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 550
I rose and rubbed my limbs, slapped them awake, trying to ward off a rising hysteria. This is what it will be, every day, without him. I felt a wild-eyed tightness in my chest, like a scream. Every day, without him.
Patroclus knows that, according to a prophecy, Achilles is fated to die in the Trojan War. He does not know when or how Achilles will die, which adds to his panic at the thought of losing him. His words indicate the deep love they share, and the fact that Achilles's death would devastate him. This is an example of Madeleine Miller's dramatic irony, as Patroclus's death happens before Achilles's.
When he speaks at last, his voice is weary, and defeated. He doesn’t know how to be angry with me, either. We are like damp wood that won’t light.
Patroclus had asked Achilles to claim Briseis as a prize in order to save her from being raped by Agamemnon. This plan is part of a larger objective to save as many young women as possible from Agamemnon and his army, until Achilles gets a reputation for insatiable lust (though he touches none of these women). As a result, Achilles is upset because his honor and reputation are very important to him. Achilles rescuing Briseis is the precursor to the deep friendship between himself, Patroclus, and Briseis. The metaphor conveying Achilles's inability to express anger toward Patroclus conveys their tender and loving relationship; although Achilles is legendary for violence in battle, he is unable to be angry with his lover.
Achilles smiles as his face strikes the earth.
Patroclus watches as Achilles dies from the arrow Paris shoots into his heart. Achilles's death is ironic, in that Paris was the deciding factor that began the Trojan War, and Achilles is the formidable fighting force that contributes to the Greeks winning the war. Achilles smiles because in death he will be reunited with Patroclus, and it is a relief that he will no longer have to bear life without his lover.
“I have done it,” she says. At first I do not...
(The entire section contains 550 words.)
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