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The True Hero of the Iliad

            "Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus' son Achilles/ and its devastation" (Homer 1. So begins The Iliad, Homer's classic tale of the Trojan War and some of its finest warriors. In his ninth year of battle against the city of Troy, Achilles is introduced as the most courageous, honorable, and victorious of all the Achaian warriors. Having triumphantly led his troops through numerous battles, he is portrayed as the most noble among all Greeks, often being referred to as "the brilliant" and "swift-footed" Achilles. While his actions usually result in heroic and lionizing outcomes, as the story progresses it becomes apparent that Achilles motives are not always that in the nature of a true warrior. After his dispute with Agamemnon, Achilles' true nature shows through in his vindictive behavior, ultimately overshadowing his previous heroic attributes. Though Achilles loses sight of what it truly means to be a warrior, Patroklos, his close comrade, never falters. When all seems to be lost for the Achaians, Patroklos steps forth, not for reasons of pride and fame, but for his people and the cause which they are fighting for. It is through these selfless acts that Patroklos truly puts into light his heroic attributes. So, while Achilles is often perceived and put forth as being the main hero of The Iliad, it is really Patroklos who proves to be the true hero in the end. .
             From even the very beginning of The Iliad, Achilles is put forward as the most noble and honorable of all warriors. With this high position he holds, Achilles is able to aid in advising his commander-in-chief and king, Agamemnon. This is apparent in the beginning of book 1 when Agamemnon refuses to return Chryseis to her father Chryses, priest of Apollo. After having refused Chryses his right to his beloved daughter, the priest then prays to Apollo, who then sends down a plague on the Achaians. After nine days of this impending plague, Achilles goes to appeal to his king for the sake of his men.

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