Book 22 focuses on heroism, courage, and fearlessness, which Hector and Achilles display during their battle, and the role of Gods in mortals’ fates. Both men exemplify a typical hero who, nevertheless, is not flawless. Hector becomes frightened and tries to escape; whereas Achilles grows furious and treats Hector’s body with cruelty and disrespect. At the same time, the outcome of the fight depends on tricky Gods’ intervention and will.. Athena helps Achilles, who is unaware of her intention, affecting the decision of the almighty Zeus himself and Hector’s destiny, over whom mourns whole Troy.
Book 23 shows how strong and genuine Achilles’ feelings to his lost friend Patroclus are. He and Myrmidons prepare in devastation his funeral, cutting their hair as a pledge of love for their companion. After the burial, Achilles initiates a series of games in honor of Patroclus. In addition, it serves as an attempt to divert from grief.
In Book 24, Achilles’ rage transforms into compassion. Priam courageously comes directly to the enemy camp and begs Achilles for the body of his son. The Greek hero is touched by Hector’s father at his feet. He is shown as a man who has heart. Achilles believes Priam’s sincere words and agrees to release the body. However, he insists that he does it according to Gods’ will, which shows him as a leader who does not wish to show weakness. Meanwhile, Hermes warns Priam to return as soon as possible as Achaeans still want to destroy Trojans and cannot be trusted.