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Thread: Achilleus & Patroklos

  1. #1

    Achilleus & Patroklos

    Achilleus & Patroklos;

    Were they friends or lovers or both?

  2. #2
    Registered User Lulim's Avatar
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    They were cousins, and certainly friends. However, in view of the Ancient Greek ideal of 'love to boys', they were probably lovers also.

    Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
    To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits
    in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

    Helen Keller

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    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Everything Achilles does after Patrocles' death shows how deeply he loved him. Modern labels simply don't fit their world. Did they sleep together? who knows, Does it matter to the story? I think not.

  4. #4
    Were Achilleus and Patroklos friends or lovers or both?

    I think it is one of the big unanswered questions people have when they read the Iliad. Just like we don't really know whether Helen was abducted or seduced. Does it matter to the story?

    In my opinion, Achilleus' reaction to Patroklos' death is an over reaction to say the least. It gives me the feeling that Homer isn't telling us the whole story about those two.

    Does it matter to the story? Only if the reader is trying to understand the characters and the culture.

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    Does not matter much, Achilles reaction is not just due to Patroklos death, but also the length of the war, how he had his status spoiled... And Homer is really saying what Achilles did was not good.

    He is not the only character who overeacts for the death of a friend, Gilgamesh does too for example (albeit in a different way).

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    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    He felt responsible for Patroklos' death as well, he'd promised to look after him and failed to do so. That also explains his "over reaction."

  7. #7
    We all know that Achilleus loved Patroklos.

    The question seems to have changed from, "Were they lover?" to "What does it matter?"

    "The relationship between Achilles and Patroclus is a key element of the myths associated with the Trojan War. Its exact nature has been a subject of dispute in both the classical period and modern times."

    Achilles and Patroclus - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I won't bore you with the six pages of arguments, quotations, citations and references that followed.

    But to say that the nature of their relationship 'does not matter to the story' is selling them both short, and reduces the story to an action adventure.

    It is not an irrelevant question.

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    You just proved it does not matter.

    It is in dispute for always. It didnt affect at all the story, the understanding, the effect. The answer does not affect the wrath.

  9. #9
    Just because something has been in dispute (like this question) ever since the story was put down on paper, does not prove that it is an unimportant question. Quite the opposite.

    In my opinion Achilleus is the most interesting character in the story. When I try to understand him and put myself in his position, I can't help but think about what his position might have been.

    Furthermore, how I feel about Achilleus changes when I change that position in my mind.

    For example, I like Achilleus better when I take the position that his relationship with Patroklos was platonic. He seem more honorable to me in that scenario. (This is probably because I like to think that lovers are a dime a dozen, while a good friend is priceless.)

    However when I think about which thing would be more likely to make me feel out of control crazy; losing a best friend, losing a lover, or losing a bestfriend/lover, I have to go with the last one. And I have more compassion for him if this was his position.

    But I already know what I think. I want to know what you think and why.

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    OK, I will tell a secret. Pithagoras was a shield, I was a spear. And I saw Achilles kissing Patro-boy. Yes, it was not platonic.

    Now that you have the answer, what it changes?

    Or, the way you like Achilles (he still the main character of the story) ?

    Changed the way the Iliad was read? Copied? Understood (It was a bit irrelevant for the greeks, who barelly cared to develop stories about it) ? Crafted?

    No, it didnt. The question remains oppen simple because the copists of homer (or himself) didnt raised it. Didnt bother with making it clear. Didnt picked a passage that explored the theme.

    The greeks even had the concept of love as we have. Of platonic love. It is all dear - i agree it is - for you. By the way, you liked to read it?

  11. #11
    So, you think that Achilleus and Patroklos were friend/lovers.

    What makes you think that?

    Also, you are wrong if you think Homer did not deal with this question in the story. He did. If you want, I can tell you where, so you can read it for yourself.

  12. #12
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    If you are looking for reasons for Achilles' reaction to the death of Patrocles, then considering whether or not they were physical lovers may be pertinent. But there are plenty of other motivating factors that outway this.

    I think this episode is about Pride (as a bad thing) Patrocles' death was a sacrifice and punishment for the pride of Achilles. I think Achilles realised this and knew he was to blame. But he could not change his character, in his sulk Achilles was over the top, as he was in his sorrow and in his wrath.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ainia View Post
    So, you think that Achilleus and Patroklos were friend/lovers.

    What makes you think that?

    Also, you are wrong if you think Homer did not deal with this question in the story. He did. If you want, I can tell you where, so you can read it for yourself.
    no, Ainia I do not think it. I was joking because it was the opposite of your opinion. Homer didnt deal with the question, otherwise the question would be answered. Every single debater would find outside Homer reasons to believe how Achilles and Patroklos reaction is. But homer does not say anything about their relationship beyond the sphere or them liking each other. If you want to see Homer dealing with love, see the difference between Heitor farewell and Achilles reaction.

    His wrath is justifiable independent of the kind of relationship they had. And like they are pointing, there is a process of upsets that lead Achilles to get upset. He didnt want to be there in first place, was there for 10 years, the war was "lost", Briseis sittuation (considerable more explict than Protoklos), Odysseus insistence... all exploded with the death of his friend/lover. Considering he starts the story overacting due to Briseis, his reaction to Protoklos is not out of character. And is suitable either they are comrades, lovers, or even the platonic love(an idea not classical). It works, as it worked for you to feel his plighty despite not knowing the answer.

  14. #14
    In my opinion, Homer does deal with the question of whether or not Achilleus and Patroklos are lovers.
    Somewhere in the book (I'm still trying to find where it is) there is a description of Achilleus' and Patroklos' sleeping arrangement.
    It is described as follows; A. They sleep in the same tent. B. They each have their own bed. C. The beds are in opposite corners from each other. D. Each bed contains a woman.
    If I remember correctly, this description; doesn't follow from, or lead into, any part of the story. It's just in there gratuitously. Almost as if Homer is putting it in there in order to head off any speculation that they might be lovers.
    If any of you can remember where this description is, please help.

  15. #15
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    I remember the passage, but that is just Homer doing his thing. The work is full of such " gratuitous" detail, it is what makes it so brilliant.

    I think the homosexuality aspect was not an issue in that society at that time.

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