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Aristotle said that the man who is capable for working in common, or who in his self-sufficiency has no need for others, is not part of the community and is like a beast or god. In this statement, Aristotle meant that there was two side to Achilles. He could be the beast that people despise or he could be a god that people could worship and respect. In order words, Achilles statement said to me that Achilles could be godly but can also be a beast towards those who are against him or cause him great harm.
Achilles positive character traits were being strong, brave, fearless and a great warrior according to Homer. Achilles was very loyal and would do anything for his family and friends. Achilles had some negative character traits that Homer mention. He was described as ill tempered, uncontrollable, arrogant, impatient, impulsive, and sulky. He was also said to be a person who thought he was above all people according to Aristotle. He could be extremely vengeful. Achilles was known to have a woman as a sex slave by the name of Briseis who Agamemnon took from Achilles. Achilles was also said to be vicious toward those who went against him. Achille loss it when his cousin/friend Patroclus was killed in battle by another warrior by the name of Hector wearing Achilles armor. Hector thought Patroclus was Achilles. After Achilles found out that Patroclus was killed by Hector. Achilles wanted revenge for Patroclus death. Achilles killed every Trojan that stood in the way of him killing Hector. Once Achilles found Hector. Hector begs Achilles for an honorable funeral but Achilles goes against Hector request or wishes by tying Hector body to the back of his chariot and dragging his body through the dirt around the city walls for his father, mother and wife to see.
Aristotle interpretation of Achilles could be viewed as someone who you can respect and love as a warrior by being strong, brave, fearless, loyal and a great warrior by standing alongside others in battle to protect and fight for what he believes. On the other hand, Achilles could be someone totally different when he is angry. He can be someone you could despise base on some of his action that took place during his time. The way he killed Hector in front of his beloved wife, father and mother to see. Achilles was a cruel man in this example he wasn’t Godly in this example. He could have respected Hector wishes by given him a respectful burial. He could have been the better person and ended the turmoil between the two. If it wasn’t for Achilles given his friend/cousin his armor to fight in the war I don’t believe Patroclus would have been killed or targeted. Hector expected Achilles to be behind that armor not Patroclus. Achilles refused to go to war or battle alongside his friend/cousin because he was disrespected or dishonor by the king Agamemnon. Agamemnon took Achilles sex slave by name of Briseis from him that upset Achilles. Achilles refused to continue to fight for king Agamemnon. Achilles felt he was to blame for Patroclus death because he wasn’t there to protect him. Achilles was willing to risk his friend life as well as the other soldiers who fought alongside of him in battle to seek revenge against king Agamemnon. Achilles refused to listen to his mother Thetis about seeking revenge on Hector. The mother knew that death would come to Achilles her son and Achilles was willing to take that chance to kill Hector. Achilles the warrior in this case was a warrior who couldn’t be control by anyone not even his mother and a warrior I believe only thought about himself and not the people who fought alongside him in battle. Achilles was a selfish warrior.
Aristotle Views of Man-A-Discussion: Researchomatic 9, 2009, 9, 2009
http://www.researchomatic.com/ Aristotle-views-of Man A-Discussion-14192.html
The Norton Anthology Western Literature. (9th edition). Puncher,, Martin. et.al.