Autor: Paul • April 14, 2011 • 429 Words (2 Pages) • 1,922 Views
Rituals of burial and hospitality bridge private and public worlds in the Iliad. When Achilleus dishonored Hektor's body by tying it on the back of his chariot and dragging it through dirt he felt as though thing would be revenge in a sense (p.379 line 14). He wanted everyone to grieve and weep about Hektor's body just as much as he had done about Patroklos'. The gods did not like the disrespect Achilleus was showing. Apollo takes action and protects Hektor's body from the elements and decay, seeing as how he had been dead almost twelve days now (p.381). Zeus demands Thetis to be a messenger to Achilleus and makes Achilleus give Hektor's body back to his father. However, King Priam does not come empty handed; he brought gifts for his son's body in return (p.381 line 111). Achilleus wants men and women from both sides of the war to be able to respect the now dead Hektor and give him a proper burial and funeral ceremony. Although Achilleus hated Hektor for killing Patroklos he felt like he should show him enough respect to give him a proper burial. This bridges public life and private life by showing no matter how much you may hate one another or what happens between you, you should always be the better person and do what you know is right. In these ancient times it was against the custom to not follow through with these rituals of burial. Achilleus still felt the need to have manners towards the King. Relating to hospitality even something as simple as food shows that Priam, his most hated enemy's father, still deserves the level of respect you would show anyone. This really illustrates Achilleus character and moral conscious. Achilleus may have thought since he had just lost his son, Priam could have been nurtured back to normal with food and wine. If anything making him eat the food and drink the wine gets his mind off of the tragic event for a short amount of time. When Priam visited Achilleus' tent to get his son's body back it stretched limits between the two of them because they were enemies that seemed to be doing nice things for each other (p.384 line 205).
If Achilleus had not had hospitality towards the king he could have killed Priam right there and the war would be over. But instead he gave him back his son in a good condition and put his feelings aside. This is yet another example of hospitality bridging the two worlds of public and private.