The Song of Achilles | Teen Ink

The Song of Achilles

April 17, 2022
By Alexandriaminakshi PLATINUM, Durgapur, Other
Alexandriaminakshi PLATINUM, Durgapur, Other
33 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Madeline Miller explores the story of mighty Achilles from the perspective of his beloved Patroclus, considered to be one of his closest companions. The story starts from the childhood of Patroclus; it is a tragic start as he kills another child accidentally, gets exiled from his kingdom and does not remain a prince. The following beautiful turn this story takes makes us believe there is a silver lining to every adverse event: Patroclus meets Achilles, and everything changes for him. All the bad memories fade, scary dreams do not return, and he starts grinning till his cheeks hurt. Their brief acquaintance turns into a mesmeric friendship. They both cherish the time they spend with each other, whether throwing pebbles, telling each other jokes or finding constellations in the night sky. This deep friendship soon escalates into an intense love affair that nobody can stop. Patroclus fears, but Achilles does not even pay attention. All that matters to Achilles is his happiness with Patroclus as he swears to be the first hero who will be happy and famous, and the reason is his Innamorato "Patroclus." Love blooms between them despite Achilles's mother, Thetis's disapproval. Unfortunately, however, their passion ends due to tragic events that follow. Nevertheless, the author is gracious enough to reunite them after death. However, even that happens with incredible difficulty.

The author Madeline Miller's writing style is lyrical rather than elusive, making the book more enjoyable and more difficult to put down. The retelling of the story from the perspective of Patroclus allows the reader to understand the story with more ardour. Moreover, this point of view is revivifying and makes the story more distinctive and personal. The characters are vivid and natural. They leave a strong impression on our minds. For instance, Achilles' emotions are bemusing as it is true that he wholeheartedly loves Patroclus, but his pride and self-respect are also vital to him. That is why he becomes enraged and destructive and regrets his decision.
Similarly, Patroclus is emotional and compassionate. Despite not being a skilled warrior, Patroclus tries to help the Greeks by going to war in the disguise of Achilles. He helps a slave girl named Briseis.

Finally, this book tears our hearts apart and leaves us depressed for weeks. It describes a friendship that transformed into love and became a love that would go to the ends of the earth.


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