MOURNING IS ETERNAL—AND PROCEEDS FROM IRON AGE: HOMER’S PATHOS OF ACHILLES AND HECTOR

VICTOR CASTELLANI

Resum


Homeric heroes know the consequences of combat, of their own possible death and an enemy’s, with the impact of either upon persons nearest and dearest. A malicious taunt reminds a foeman of what his death will mean to old parents, to young wife, and to other relatives. A warrior’s own premonition of falling in battle before a superior fighter and/or by Fate or deadly intervention of a hostile god may add his child or children to those who will miss and mourn him. The Iliad-poet anticipates the painful aftermath of demigod Achilles’ coming death for his irregular family, which includes a divine mother who will mourn him forever. “Homer” dramatizes the pain of mortal Hector’s death, first expected then effected, for a family many of whom we have met, from aged parents to infant son. Hector’s slaying, linked by Fate to that of Achilles, is the key event. It leads to a sublime reconciliation between Achilles, his killer, and Priam, his devastated father. Hector’s mother, however, and his loving wife—mother of his defenseless son—cannot be reconciled with his loss and with their dreaded and certain harsh future.


Paraules clau


: Iliad, Trojan War, Achilles, Hector, Death in battle, Woman during war, Widow, orphan, Bereavement, Mourning

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1344/AFLM2017.7.6

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