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Repeatedly, stories that recount entertaining pasts, both as a historical event or as a mythical one have developed and passed down from one lineage to another. To many communities, the challenge comes in when there is a need to differentiate which story belongs in either of the categories without losing touch with their heritage. Hypothetically, however, myths have been known to refer to the narrations that help explain certain scenarios in life. Mostly, these stories are used to explain how things came to be as they are, even if most elements of the story seem untrue.[1] Historical narrations, however, have practical factors that give chronological accounts leading to the realization of how a particular conclusion was achieved. In this essay, the character of Achilles from Homer will help explain how such stories as this are mythical in nature.

Primarily, to comprehend the reason for the deduction of the above character, there is need to understand what exactly makes a mythical narrative. According to Powell, a myth like any other story has a plot, a structure, characters, conflict, and an ending.[2] It is hardly an ordinary story though; reason being that the narrative is traditional, and it has been handed down over time.[3] In the Poem, Homer has created the character of Achilles as a powerful man more than an ordinary mortal due to his mother, who is a goddess.[4] Likewise, there are three-plot analysis, the fight between him and Agamemnon, Patroklos, another character leading a battle with the Myrmidons, and the death of Patroklos and Hector.[5] The setting in Homers poem is that of a battle which, therefore, provides the last of the three components of a myth confirming that this story is mythical.

Secondly, the main difference between a historical event and a mythical one is that history is unchangeable, but a myth is. This is because of the variations in what the myths are about if the stories are handed down through generations. This is because; the narrator chooses to focus on a different aspect of the story from that of another. [6] Grant’s point of view supports this by implying that there are considerable numbers of people that believe each myth could mean differently to another.[7] This can be explained by the different versions of Greek mythology that have been in existent over time as compared to what is regarded as historic. [8]

Thirdly, most mythical narrations are associated with supernatural abilities and beings such as gods, goddesses and immortality among others. “Rage goddess; sing the rage of Peleus son Achilles, murderous, doomed that cost the Achaeans countless losses…”[9] The poet Homer portrays the existence of a goddess in the story, which in the real world is an impossibility. Regardless, the scenario creates a setting that portrays an act of warfare, which supports my earlier argument about how myths are all about the creation of the mind and not facts.

In conclusion, therefore, my prior evaluation as to whether Achilles and his story are of mythical nature or historical aspects still stands. From the above discussion, the story has satisfied three of the most distinctive aspects of myths that are not commonly found in historical narrations.[10]In addition, despite the supernatural depictions, the story of Achilles explains numerous things about the modern world even if not in its actual context. The common misconception that myths are real life events, however, ought to be rectified to prevent overwriting of actual historical facts that similarly, made the world what it is today. Overall, Myths remain educative methods of literature, and all its aspects should be well understood and grasped in all contexts of life,










































Grant, Michael, Myth of the Greeks and Romans (1962) (New York: Meridian Books, 1995)

Homer, Iliad, ed., tr. Peter Jones (London: Penguin, 2003)

Powell, Barry B., Classical Myth (4th edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004)

Powell, Barry B., Classical Myth (6th edition, New York: Pearson/Longman, 2009)

Raaflaub, Kurt, ‘Historicity of Homer’ in Margalit Finkelberg (ed.) The Homer Encyclopedia V.2 (New York: Wiley, 2011)





































[1] Barry B. Powell, Classical Myth (4th edition., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004), 4

[2] Barry B. Powell, Classical Myth(6th edition, New York, Pearson Longman, 2009,pp 2-8) 12-13

[3] Ibid,2

[4] Homer, the lliad, tr. Robert Fagles, New York, Viking 1990,pp. 77-97

[5] Ibid, 4

[6]Barry B. Powell, Classical Myth(6th edition, New York, Pearson Longman, 2009,pp 2-8) pg 3

[7] Michael Grant, Myth of the Greeks and Romans (1962) (New York: Meridian Books, 1995), xix

[8] Radice, Betty, Who’s who in the ancient world: A handbook to the survivors of the Greek and Roman classics, Harmondsworth, Penguin 1971,1973 pp (Various)

[9] Ibid, 4

[10] Kurt Raaflaub, ‘Historicity of Homer’ in Margalit Finkelberg (ed.) The Homer Encyclopedia V.2 (New York: Wiley, 2011), 359


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