Iliad

Discuss the end of the poem"The Iliad". Does Achille's anger subside in book 24?

Why does Priam's speech move Achilles? What is the story of Niobe? Why does Achilles tell it? How do you think the story relates to the Iliad?

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Achilles' transformation is the true climax of the Iliad. Finally, there is an end to his rage. Looking on Priam, Achilles is able to make the great leap of empathy. He sees his own father in the old king, and he suddenly understands the anguish that he has caused for the old man and others like him, a mourning father for every man that he has killed. The revelation drives him into weeping, for what he has done and what he has lost. At last, Achilles has moved from rage to compassion. No longer is he cut off from humanity, waiting by the ships as his friends die in agony, or wishing for the hunger of an animal as he stands over a brutally slain victim. His sorrow now is deeper and more humane, far less selfish and self-absorbed than it has ever been in the past.

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