Achilles vs. Roland

December 25, 2016 History

Many people throughout history are similar in many ways, but also alike. There is a phrase that my grandpa used to tell me, “History repeats itself.” This is true in many cases. For example, Abraham Lincoln was assonated and later so was John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Another instance was the industrial revolution and the recently started “.com” era. Throughout The Iliad, written by Homer, and The Song of Roland, by Sir Thomas Mallory, both Roland and Achilles show traits of each other as history repeats itself. Both Achilles and Roland are great warriors but Achilles is more compassionate than Roland is. .

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Roland and Achilles are fierce warriors. Achilles was a better warrior than Agamemnon, because he has had more combat time than Agamemnon has, “I have seen more action/ hand to hand in those assaults than you have” (Iliad I. 192-193). Achilles has been on the front line, fighting for the Greeks while Agamemnon has laid back in the ranks and left the action to the warriors in front of him. Achilles was the one person who killed the Trojan’s greatest and bravest warrior, Hector. “Achilles/ drove his point straight through the tender neck” (Iliad XXII. 386-387) Roland is a respectable warrior as well. Roland helped the French by fighting the Saracens. He fought but knew he would die, so he sounded the Oliphant to call Charlemagne to avenge his death. Roland also carries Durendal; only a great warrior may carry this sacred sword. This sword is unbreakable and “loyal” to Roland. “But Durendal will not break/ the sword leaped up, rebounded toward the sky.” (Song of Roland 173. 154-155) Both Achilles and Roland demonstrate their great skill in being warriors.

Achilles has more compassion than Roland does. When self-centered Agamemnon takes Briseis, Achilles is extremely miserable and goes to the shore to pray to his deceased mother. “Achilles wept/ and sat apart by the gray wave, scanning the endless sea / often he spread his hands in prayer to his mother” (Iliad I.


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