The Iliad Book 23 – a reaction


A blog response to Book 23 of The Iliad by Homer for Literature class

 

In Book 23, Akhilleus and the Myrmidons continue to mourn for Patroklos. Akhilleus finally eats but still is not taking a bath until after Patroklos’ burial. That evening, Patroklos appears to him in a dream, requesting him to hold the funeral soon so that his soul can already enter the land of the dead. The following day, Akhilleus sacrifices the twelve young Trojans he captured and then lights up Patroklos’ pyre. The following day, after Patroklos’ bones have been buried, Akhilleus hosts a series of competitions in his dead friend’s honor. Commanders and soldiers alike join, and big prizes are up for grabs. There are contests such as boxing, wrestling, archery, and a chariot race that Diomedes won with help from Athena. Akhilleus considers taking away Antilochus, second place finisher’s prize. He wanted to do this in order to give the prize to the last placer because Athena robbed that man of victory in order to make Diomedes win. However, Antilochus becomes furious and Menelaos adds to the argument. The argument heats up to a certain point but everyone reconciles with each other eventually.

I can relate to what happened in Book 23 very well. It is often and normal between groups of friends to end up arguing after having fun, especially if it is a kind of competition. We cannot help it; it is our nature to be competitive. No one likes to lose, and often times we find excuses or holes in our competitors’ victories just so that we can say that we won. Eventually, the argument grows and it is so pointless that when the argument is settled, everyone feels so stupid that they argued about such a petty thing. After the argument, it seems even pettier than when it started. But just like in the Iliad, it does not take long for everything to be resolved and for everyone to be okay with one another again.

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