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Patroklos is not important to "The Iliad", do you agree?

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Introduction

?Patroklos is not very important to the Iliad?. How far do you agree with this opinion? Patroklos is introduced as the companion of Achilleus ? the great warrior ? which automatically makes him significant to the poem as a whole. His relationship with Achilleus is first shown in book 9 where Patroklos obeys everything Achilleus asks him to do and is names as ?his companion Patroklos?. This shows they have a good relationship which is important as it shows the audience another side of Achilleus, one where he is loving and caring and human enough to crave the company of a close friend. However the menial tasks Patroklos is first asked to perform could have been undertaken by any common slave and therefore in this scene he does not come across as particularly important to the poem. This close relationship is emphasized a number of times throughout the poem, in particular when Achilleus ?gave a silent signal to Patroklos with his eyebrows? which would indicate that their relationship is such that Patroklos understands what Achilleus wants him to do through facial expression alone. ...read more.

Middle

Achilleus instructs him to don his armour and push the battle from their ships. Achilleus once again shows his feelings for Patroklos as he prays to Zeus that he will come back safely. Zeus does not grant this, foretelling Patroklos?s death. During this book, Patroklos has his aristeia which adds excitement and impact to the poem. Patroklos?s fighting lasts for many pages and is a significant part of the poem, showing his importance overall. Patroklos?s fight with Sarpedon is important as Zeus becomes upset over the death of his son and although he allows the Achaians to take his armour, he ensures the body is well looked after ? showing a loving side of Zeus that is not often seen during the poem. Without Patroklos this scene would not have been able to take place. Patroklos?s death is told over many lines and begins with Euphorbus stabbing him in the back as he is too scared to face him in battle. This shows once again how brave and important Patroklos is. ...read more.

Conclusion

Furthermore, Patroklos?s death makes Achilleus feel guilty ?let me die directly, since I was not able to help my friend at his killing? and spurs him to fight once more. The sensitive side of Achilleus is bought out again during this ?his warm tears falling when he saw his trusted friend lying there?. Patroklos?s death is the catalyst needed to make Achilleus rekindle his fighting spirit ?but now Patroklos?I shall not give you burial until I have bought here?the head of Hektor.? Which shows that without Patroklos Achilleus would not have fought again, meaning he is catalytic in this part of the Iliad. Finally it is made clear that Patroklos was instrumental in Achilleus?s attachment to Briseis. ?You were always gentle.? Briseis explains that Patroklos was the one who arranged for her to marry Achilleus, and since this all began because Briseis was taken away this shows that without Patroklos?s intervention Achilleus would not have been so angry in the first place and would not have refused to fight, making the Iliad into a very different story. Therefore, Patroklos was key in shaping the poem into the story it became. 922 words Jessica Ellis ...read more.

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