SELU ENGL 351 - In the Pursuit of Perception The Epic Education of Achilles (8 pages)

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In the Pursuit of Perception The Epic Education of Achilles



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In the Pursuit of Perception The Epic Education of Achilles

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Pages:
8
School:
Southeastern Louisiana University
Course:
Engl 351 - Early World Literature

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In the Pursuit of Perception The Epic Education of Achilles Sean P Kerrigan Course ENGL 351 Instructor Dr Mary Sue Ply Essay Type Research Paper Within the annals of epic literature the celebrated role of epic hero has always been present heralding the poem s themes through the actions of a single extraordinary protagonist Strong and courageous he is caught within the nets of mortality and at times he may struggle to replace his worldly desires with celestial knowledge In profound ways he can even embody the mythological ideals of a civilization and through his many perilous adventures and profound encounters the course of his identity may shift in focus towards something greater than himself Through this change in his character one can observe the universal plight of humanity in greater detail and discover how one must overcome certain obstacles to understand the complex nature of the gods In Homer s The Iliad such an epic education can be found within the account of Achilles who through his slow transition from an excessively angry brooder to a compassionate symbol of self sacrifice matures into a character that is more in tune with divine enlightenment At the beginning of The Iliad Achilles is observed as being insulted by Agamemnon and getting caught within a web of anger this state of rage distinguishes the ignorance of his character at the beginning of his education The pinnacle of this ignorance can be observed when Achilles is about to kill Agamemnon his spirit racing drawing his huge blade from its sheath 1 227 228 With this action Achilles demonstrates his complete reliance on brutality and the more violent primitive forms of justice giving credence to his association with a lion whose deadly energy is the brute force of beasts King 19 At this stage of his development he is shown as being susceptible only to his anger and the goddess Athena has to swoop down from the sky to remind Achilles that he is not acting in accordance with divine virtue check your



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