FC: The Iliad and the Monomyth by Joseph Thacker
1: The Call | When the story began, the Trojans and Achaeans had been at war for 9 years. They were fighting over the beautiful Helen,who Paris had stolen from Agamemnon's brother Menelaus. Our hero Achilles said to Agamemnon "We have followed you, Sir Insolence for your pleasure not ours" (Butler 4). Achilles was fighting not for himself but for his king, Agamemnon.
2: Refusal | Throughout the war Achilles won many battles, during these battles he took prizes. One of his prizes was a woman,Briseis. In anger Agamemnon decided he would take Achilles' prize in retaliation after Apollo had taken his. "Go, said he, to the tent of Achilles, take Briseis by the hand and bring her hither" (Butler 7). Achilles vowed not to fight until Agamemnon was repayed for his wrong doings.
3: Supernatural Aid | After Agamemnon dishonored Achilles, Achilles prayed to his mother Thetis. He prayed and asked for her to go and ask Jove to "Let the Achaeans be hemmed in at the sterns of their ships, and perish on the sea-shore " (Butler 8). Achilles wanted the Achaeans to suffer for Agamemnon's actions. Thetis answered Achilles prayer.
4: Crossing The First Threshold | Achilles sat out the whole battle, he wouldn't fight and he swore he wouldn't enter the battle until the ships caught fire. Achilles' servant Patroclus had more compasion for his companions. "Achilles, foremost champion of the Achaeans, do not be angry, but I weep for the disaster that has now befallen the Argives" (Butler 187). Patroclus wanted to fight. After considering the facts Achilles agreed to allow Patroclus to fight in his armor. "Up, for I see the glare of hostile fire at our fleet; lest they destroy our ships, and there be no way we may retreat" (Butler 189). This was the turning point of the book. Achilles started to realize that he must fight he knew his servant probably wouldn't survive the battle, but that by allowing him to fight he helped the Achaeans.
5: Belly of the Wale | Patroclus died at the hand of Hector, a great worrier of Troy. When Achilles discovered his servants death he was very troubled, he promised he would avenge his friends death. "O Patroclus, I will not bury you, till I have brought hither the head and armor of mighty Hector " (Butler 222). Achilles was indeed very angry, and this made the battle all the more fierce. As a sign to the Trojans Achilles went to the battle field and "did he stand and shout aloud. Minerva also raised her voice from afar, and spread terror unspeakable among the Trojans" (Butler 224)
6: The Road of Trials | Achilles was finally ready to fight, the only problem was he was without his armor. Patroclus had worn Achilles' armor when he died and Hector had taken it. Achilles again called upon his mother, Thetis to go to Vulcan and ask him to make him a new armor. Thetis did as her son asked. She then went to her sisters, the sea-nymphs, and told them to tell their father what had happened, "I will got to Vulcan and ask him to provide my son with a suit of splendid armor" (Butler 220).
7: Achilles fought the Trojans in the river as he searched for Hector. During the battle the river took on human form and began to fight against Achilles. The river was named Scamander. "Meanwhile Achilles sprang into mid-stream, whereon the river raised a high wave and attacked him" (Butler 252).
8: Meeting With Goddess | Achilles was beaten by Scamander. He experienced many feelings of loneliness. He felt the gods had abandoned him. Achilles was second guessing himself, he didn't know if he could beat Hector, he had lost his confidence. He walked along the river and two gods, Neptune and Minerva, came to him to reassure him. "Go to Hector and kill him for we will vouchsafe you a triumph over him" (Butler 253).
9: Temptation | Achilles knew throughout the battle that it was prophesied that he would die soon after he killed mighty Hector. "Then, is your end near your own death awaits you full soon after that of Hector" (Butler 220). Achilles was tempted never to fight and never to kill Hector so that he could live for a longer time.
10: Atonement with the Father | The whole reason Achilles didn't fight in the war was his argument with King Agamemnon. He finally put the past behind him and reconciled with Agamemnon. "and the Achaeans rejoiced in that he had put away his anger" (Butler 231).
11: Apotheosis | Hector had been Achilles' enemy throughout the whole story. Hector was Achilles' only challenge, he was the only person who could kill Achilles. After chasing Hector 3 times around Troy Achilles finally caught Hector. Hector and Achilles endured an epic battle. "Then did Achilles strike him with his spear in the soft part of the neck" (Butler 267). Achilles had finished his quest, he had defeated the undefeatable. Achilles accepted that he couldn't live forever, his destiny was to beat Hector and to save the Achaeans from the Trojans.
12: Master of Two Worlds | Throughout the story it felt as if Achilles saw himself as more god than man. He seemed to believe he was invincible,and he nearly was. In the beginning Achilles was cocky and he thought he could win the war by himself. Achilles treated death like it wasn't real, like it couldn't affect him. Achilles' eyes were opened when his friend died and he experienced real pain. After Hector was slain his father, Priam, came to ransom his body. At first it appeared that Achilles wouldn't give the body back. Priam wouldn't give up. He talked to Achilles about fatherly love "and the heart of Achilles yearned as he bethought him of his father" (Butler 297). Achilles decided to release Hectors body to Priam. The two then ate together and discussed the war. Priam wished for the war to be over and Achilles agreed. Achilles used his head and the war was ended. Not by the sword but by words.
13: Works Consulted | Achilles putting on his helmet. n.d. Solar Navigator. solarnavigator.com. web. 5 April, 2011. http://www.solarnavigator.net/brad_pitt.html Achilles slaying Hector. n.d. Art Wallpaper. artwallpaper.com. web. 9 April, 2011. http://www.art-wallpaper.com/20632/Rubens+ Peter+Paul/Achilles+ defeated+Hector Armor. n.d. Isra Cast. isracast.com. web. 9 April, 2011. http://www.isracast.com /article.aspx?id=28 Front cover. n.d. Blog Spot. blogspot.com. web. 7 April, 2011. http://heroismreconsidered.blogspot.com/ Homer. The Iliad. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications,1999. Print Picture of Death. n.d. Scrape TV. scrapetv.com. web. 9 April, 2011. http:/crapetv.com/News /News%20Pages/Everyone%20Else/pages-3/Worlds-oldest-man-laid-to-rest-despite-feeble-protests-Scrape-TV-The-World-on-your-side.html Thetis asking Jove for help. n.d. Fact Staff. www.factstaff.gpc.edu. web. 7 April, 2011. http://facstaff.gpc.edu/~lpassare/Course%20Materials/English_2111/ Materials2111.htm Warrier in river. n.d. Flick River. flickriver.com. web. 9 April, 2011. http://www. flickriver.com/photos/16472880@N06/tags/iliad/ Whale Image. n.d. ZME Science. zmescience.org.web. 9 April, 2011. http://www.zmescience.com/ecology/ climate/whales-suffer-sun-burn-marine-biology-12112010/