Part four of an analysis of the passage from Homer’s Iliad where Iris and Achilles have a discussion and Achilles decides to finally join the fighting.
Achilles shout was so terrifying that, “when they heard the brazen voice of Aiakides, the heart was shaken in all.” This statement seemed very interesting to me because normally when I feel scared I feel it in my stomach. This terror that was invoked by Achilles was on a completely different level because it was felt in the hearts of the Trojans who witnessed it. Not only were the humans terrified by the shout, but so were the horses pulling the chariots. “The very floating-maned horses turned their chariots about, since their hearts saw the coming afflictions” This seemed to be an even better representation of the magnitude of terror that Achilles’ shout was inflicting. Suddenly this terror was not only felt by humans, but the animals knew to turn and run as if their instincts were telling them to flee from a natural disaster.
“Three times across the ditch brilliant Achilles have his great cry…There at that time twelve of the best men among them perished.” Time after time we were reminded of how mighty and powerful Achilles was and how devastating to the Trojans it would be if he was to enter the battle. Then we actually witnessed that this was true and not just an exaggeration. Achilles had not even begun to fight and he had already killed twelve of the best of the Trojans. He had declared his intent to fight and had already begun to swing the tides of battle in favor of the Achaeans. This great influence that Achilles had over the battle before he even started to fight was what made this passage most memorable to me.