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Reply To: Priam and Achilles from the Iliad, Book XXIV


Thank you, Stephen! You can’t overlook the significance of Hector being the only character that moves the audience toward compassion, and that it’s his death, and this moment in the story, that completes the arc of Achilles’ character development. In the beginning he’s sulking like a school boy. He’s brought out of that by the death of Patroclus and driven to revenge, an act of the ego made worse by the desecration of Hector’s body which, back then, was a big deal.

The selfless courage and honesty of Priam pierced his heart and for the first time he finds compassion.

Who else in the story earns your respect, other than Hector? Even the gods act like children. And the endless lists of the slain are mind numbing, dehumanizing.

In the end, the best are taken rendering war foolish and futile.