What The 641 to Paris can teach us about living fully, aging, and becoming our best selves.
Cover Image: Models by Georges Seurat, Wikimedia Commons
What The Song of Achilles can teach us about success, decision-making, and service to others.
Cover Image: The Story of the Iliad by John Flaxman, Wikimedia Commons
- The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller, p. 341 ↩
- Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek war against the Trojans. His wife, Helen, was “stolen” by Paris, the prince of Troy. ↩
- Though it was never explicitly stated in The Iliad, interpretations dating back to Plato’s time cast Achilles and Patroclus as lovers. ↩
- This is where I’m going off the rails and getting a little philosophical. Fair warning in case I start to lose you. ↩
- p. 175 ↩
- The cryptic prophecy goes something like this: Achilles will die and his fame will be solidified, but only after he kills Hector and not before the best of Greeks dies. Everyone considers him the best of Greeks, so this confuses everyone. Patroclus, however, is truly the best because he’s the only one not swinging his dick around the battlefield. Instead, he’s saving slave women from rape and tending to the wounds of the fallen. A true hero. ↩
- p. 181 ↩
- Odysseus says this when he’s trying to convince Achille’s homophobic son, Pyrrhus, to bury Patroclus in Achilles’ tomb. ↩
- As Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan has said, “The times are a-changin’,” and these days the times are changing so quickly that we’ll limit the phrase “modern readers” to those reading the book and this essay in the last half of 2019. ↩
- Odysseus and Priam (see his interaction with Achilles circa p. 348) are great examples of this. They put their own pride aside and stroke others’ egos to achieve shape fate and achieve their own goals. ↩
P.S. Get your head out of the marginalia
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