A mortal king and the sea-goddess Thetis are important characters in the Iliad. Achilles is a well-respected warrior, and the Achaians needed him to help them fight the Trojans. In book XXII, Achilles showed his heartlessness when he killed Hector.
Achilleus showed sympathy towards elders by returning Hektors body when Priam begged for it in Homer’s Iliad. He was portrayed as a well-respected warrior who was both heartless and sympathetic towards elders. In book I of the Iliad, Achilleus first shows his respect when he calls the Achaians to assembly, an idea from the goddess Hera who had pity on the dying Achaians. Achilleus, a leader even before his time of greatness, spoke up for his people against the son of Atreus, saying I believe now that straggling backwards we must make our way home if we can even escape death, if fighting now must crush the Achaians and the plague likewise” (1. 59-61). Agamemnon, who claims himself as the greatest of all the Achaians, shows fear towards Achilleus by calling him a “good fighter though you be, godlike” (1).
127). By defeating Agamemnon, Achilleus proves to be the greatest Achaian soldier and the most respected because he stood up to Agamemnon, the wine sack with a dog’s eyes and deer’s heart; the King who feeds on his people” (1.221-227). After the death of Patrokolos, Achilleus returns to avenge his friend’s death in Book XXII. The love Achilleus showed Patrokolos was not worth taking every soldier’s life in the Trojan army except one man (Hektor) who thought that “it would be much better at that time to go against Achilleus, and slay him, and come back, or else be killed by him in glory in front of the city” (22.11-13).
Hektor was killed by Achilleus after being tricked by Athene, who pretended to be his (Hektor’s) brother Deiphobos. Hektor tried to plead with Achilleus on his death day so that he could be buried respectfully and his soul could rest. However, Achilleus’ response to Hektor was, Argue me no arguments. I cannot forgive you. As there are no trustworthy oaths between men and lions, nor wolves and lambs” (22).
Achilleus not only killed Hektor, but he stripped him of his clothing and allowed every Achaian soldier to stab him while he gave a speech saying, There is a dead man who lies by the ships, unwept, unburied” (22.289). Achilleus then returned to the ships of the Achaians singing, “We have won ourselves enormous fame; we have killed the great Hektor whom the Trojans glorified as if he were a god in their city” (22.296-298).
While speaking, Achilleus thought of the shameful treatment he would give to Hektor. He made holes in the back of Hektor’s feet by the tendons, drew thongs of ox-hide through the space between the ankle and the heel, and fastened his feet to a chariot, dragging him on the back of it. Hektor’s hair fell out, and what was once a beautiful body was now tumbled in the dust. Achilleus showed no respect for Hektor and had a great deal of hate towards him. Killing him and battering his body showed how heartless he was towards his enemies. In book XXIV, Achilleus meets Hektor’s father, Priam, who wants Achilleus to return his son’s body so that he can have a proper burial and his soul can rest peacefully.
Priam goes into the city where the Achaians stay. He gets down on his knees, kisses the hands that murdered his son, and begs Achilleus to return Hektor to him. Priam speaks to Achilleus, saying, Achilleus, like the gods, remember your father, one who is of years like mine, and on the door-sill of sorrowful old age. They who swell nearby encompass him and afflict him, nor is there anyone to defend him against the wrath, the destruction” (24. 95-98). Priam reminds Achilleus of his father and that his father can call on him when he wants.
Priam reminds Achilleus that he has taken the lives of all his sons. Achilleus responds by saying, I sit here in Troy and bring nothing but sorrow to you and your children” (24.151). Both Achilleus and Priam break down and cry at their misfortunes. Achilleus agrees to give Hektor back to Priam so that he can have a proper burial. In the Iliad, Achilleus shows three sides of his personality: a great leader towards his people, a brutal killer, and a grieving soldier.
There are numerous quotes and statements that prove this to be true. Achilleus is passionate and heartbroken about the death of Patrokolos in Homer’s Iliad. Achilleus portrays himself as well-respected, heartless, and sympathetic towards elders. The son of Peleus and Thetis proves to be all of these things in many different books of the Iliad.