Achilles is the central character of Homer's Iliad. The epic revolves around the decisions he makes and the epic turns on him. It is his anger that opens the poem, and because he is an epic hero, it is important for the reader to know it and what harm it can cause, the anger of this one man. Achilles is like many other epic heroes in different stories and cultures. But there are also differences between him and figures such as Gilgamesh and Aeneas. He embodies the values of different culture but also has a much different relationship with the Gods than either of them or with figures from ancient Greece such as Oedipus. Because he is half-divine, he has special favor with the Gods and is able to engage them directly in order to win their favor and help.
[...] In this final battle, the role of the gods does not diminish even as Achilles takes center stage as he chases Hektor around the walls of Troy. Zeus is visited by Athena who wants to help Achilles. He wavers in his support and debates what he should do since he likes both heroes. Finally, he allows Athena to go and help Achilles kill Hektor. He tells her as your thought inclines, refrain no longer” (148). With Athena's help, Achilles is triumphant. [...]
[...] The gods do not simply order him about, but try and persuade him so he is happy. Athena swears that Achilles will be rewarded later with riches three times greater than what he has lost to Agamemnon. Agamemnon's life is spared, but he does not get complete victory. Achilles refuses to fight for the Greeks and goes off. He keeps his men from fighting as well, and without his elite force of troops, Agamemnon's chances of winning the war by breaking the siege of Troy are slim. [...]
[...] Because he is of divine ancestry, he is also capable of gaining the favor of the gods to turn the war from one side or another. The gods reveal their like of Achilles often and the Greek leadership knows it needs him. An oracle has predicted that the Greeks cannot take the city of Troy without Achilles (107). Agamemnon tries to go it alone without his help, but finds that the gods will not relent and he cannot triumph without making humiliating concessions to Achilles. [...]
[...] Convinced less and less of the gods' presence, he commits the sin of hubris and declares solved the riddle by my wit alone” forgetting how the gods had helped him in the past. For Achilles, however, this is not a problem. His relationship with the gods is such that he can ask for their help, expect their guidance, and he knows about his own fate from them. Everything that the gods wants and need is clear to him. At the beginning of the Iliad, the reader is told that Zeus will punish Agamemnon, and by extension the Greeks, for insulting Achilles (Homer 126). [...]
using our reader.