Peterson has completely removed divine intervention from the story. That leaves quite big hole for himself to place his own events and relationships. An example of Peterson filling in this hole is how he enhances relationships in the Iliad to create deeper bonds between human characters. In the Iliad, Achilles shares a mutual love for his slave prize Briseis and when Agamemnon takes her away, Achilles and Agamemnon have a dispute which causes Thetis to ask Zeus to make Agamemnon realize how much the Achaeans need Achilles and therefore sway victory to the Trojan side of battle. In the Iliad, Achilles and Briseis are in love – “You would not let me sorrow, but said you would make me godlike Achilles wedded lawful wife, that you would take me back in the ships to Phthia, and formalize my marriage among the Myrmidons” . Achilles refuses an offer made by Agamemnon to have his prize back and it is only after Patroclus dies that Achilles fights again, and it is at that point that Achilles receive his prize again. In Troy however, Briseis is made a relative of king Priam’s and therefore royalty. Similar events follow Briseis’ in the film however in the film, Achilles isn’t shown to be in love with Briseis, and Agamemnon had no reason to take Briseis other than to make an arbitrary statement about his superiority to Achilles. “Mighty Achilles, silenced by a slave girl. Tonight I’ll have her give me a bath, and then, who knows? ” – Agamemnon. This is what starts the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon in the film. In the Iliad however, Agamemnon takes Briseis because Apollo is enraged by the capture of a priest of Apollo’s daughter Chryseis and sends a plague to the Greeks. Agamemnon sends Chryseis back to Troy and the plague subsides, leaving Agamemnon with no prize. It is then, that Agamemnon desires a prize and takes Briseis from Achilles. In this, Peterson portrays a far more aggressive relationship between Achilles and Agamemnon than in the Iliad.
Peterson also made other subtle changes in order to strengthen relationships. In the film, Achilles and Patroclus are close friends, cousins even. Achilles is found teaching him how to wield the sword earlier on in the film, and is benign when he learns of Patroclus’ death. Petersen changes a lot about the events surrounding Patroclus. For a start, In the Iliad, It is known that Achilles and Patroclus are lovers. “But Achilles slept in the innermost part of the well-builded hut, and by his side lay a woman that he had brought from Lesbos, even the daughter of Phorbas, fair-cheeked Diomede. And Patroclus laid him down on the opposite side, and by him in like manner lay fair-girdled Iphis, whom goodly Achilles had given him when he took steep Scyrus, the city of Enyeus” – The Iliad book 9. The philosopher Plato later confirms that Achilles and Patroclus were lovers. Not only were they lovers, but in the Iliad, Achilles knew about Patroclus taking his armor and chasing the Trojans, and it was the doing of both Apollo and Hector that caused the death of Patroclus. “And in the hands of Patroclus the far-shadowing spear was wholly broken, the spear, heavy, and huge, and strong, and tipped with bronze; and from his shoulders the tasselled shield with its baldric fell to the ground, and his corselet did Apollo loose” – Book 16 of the Iliad, Patroclus also slays many generals and army leaders in the Iliad before finally dying an honorable death. In the film, Achilles knows nothing about Patroclus leading the Myrmidons to battle, Patroclus kills few men and fights a short battle with Hector before finally being outskilled by Hector. Here is a link to the scene seeing as there isn’t many quotes in it – Click This .
Patroclus is shown to be a lot younger and unskilled then his highly empowered appearance in the Iliad. By doing this, Peterson shows Achilles to be more angry and vengeful in the film than in the Iliad.
Big blocks of text right? That’s it for this post! Until next time 😀