[Highlighted Excerpts taken for reference from The Song of Achilles- Madeline Miller]
A quote by the author Madeline Miller
In making Achilles and Patroclus lovers, I wasn’t trying to speak for all gay men, just when I write straight characters, I don’t claim to speak for all straight people. My job as an author is to give voice to these very particular characters- these two men, in this time, and in this place.
The Song of Achilles is a book I selected for reading because I am not too well versed with Greek mythology and thought it would be nice to read up on it. I did not go too deep into the gist so when I started reading it, I was completely swept up in the tale of these two lovers.
In these passages the author brings out the intimacy between the two lovers, Achilles, and Patroclus in the most delicate way that you are convinced of their tender relationship. It is also one which is built on friendship, trust, and faith. Achilles is so protective of Patroclus that he even defends him against Thetis his mother who is a sea nymph.
A little fact about the phrase Achilles heel
Thetis gives birth to Achilles who, unlike her, is mortal. She attempts to make the baby Achilles immortal, by dipping him in the river Styx (the river that runs through the underworld), while holding him by his heel. The one part of his body left untouched by the waters becomes his only point of weakness, hence the phrase ‘Achilles heel’.
The Trojan War
The Trojan war is described with such simplicity that it is easy to understand that time yet bringing out and creating a vivid image of it in your mind. In Greek mythology, Achilles or Achilleus was a hero of the Trojan War, the greatest of all the Greek warriors, and the central character of Homer‘s Iliad. This passage brings out the mighty strength of Achilles when he kills Hector and draws you into the war that he is in.
Patroclus when he speaks to Achilles in his sleep, after his death where the two would want to be united even in death is heart-breaking and a testament of their great love.
In the heart of the passage, I found a beautiful book full of stories of Greek mythology and the fine and intimate tale of two beautiful lovers Achilles and Patroclus.
This book filled me with such intrigue and interest that I am looking forward to reading another book by the author Madeline Miller.
Madeline Miller is the author of The Song of Achilles, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012, was shortlisted for the Stonewall Writer of the Year 2012, was an instant New York Times bestseller, and was translated into twenty-five languages. Miller holds an MA in Classics from Brown University, and she taught Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students for over a decade. She lives outside Philadelphia.
In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood, like a hundred golden urns pouring out the sun.