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The Song of Achilles: A Story of Love and Pride

The Song of Achilles: A Story of Love and Pride

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller tells a story of love and pride. Set in the Greek age of heroes, the American writer narrates an adaptation of Homer's Iliad from the perspective of Patroclus.

The book took ten years to be completed and proved to be worth the wait. Critics have commended the novel and cited The Song of Achilles as the more poetic translation of any Homer versions. It is an award-winning book with sales that received a massive boost in 2021 despite it being originally published in 2011.

As a story of love and pride, there is more to discover about The Song of Achilles. Find out more about this beautifully written novel as you read through this article.

Love between friends

Patroclus and Achilles became friends when the latter was exiled to Phthia. Patroclus was an awkward young prince who was raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his son, Achilles. Though different in many ways, the two boys still became close friends and their relationship grew stronger as they matured. 

Pride of a mother

While the relationship of Patroclus and Achilles deepened over the years, Achilles’ mother Thetis, only became furious at the bond between her demigod son and an ordinary mortal. She attempted to separate the two by sending Achilles to train under Chiron but ultimately, he and Patroclus ended up training together.

Romantic love

Despite their differences and Thetis’ disapproval, Achilles and Patroclus developed a romantic love for each other. Although Achilles was swifter, more beautiful, and more skilled than all his peers, his superiority didn't become a hindrance for him to reciprocate Patroclus’s feelings. They had a love affair and nurtured a unique relationship as they became adults.

Love and Pride

Achilles showed his love to Patroclus to the very end. Despite the prophecy that Achilles was fated to die in Troy, he returned to battle and killed Hector to avenge Patroclus. He was then killed by Paris. As he demanded, his ashes were mixed with Patroclus'. 

Love and Acceptance

The tomb erected by the Achaeans for Achilles and Patroclus did not have  Patroclus' name at the order of Neoptolemus, which meant Patroclus' shade was bound to the tomb and could not pass into the underworld. Once the war was over, Thetis returned and grieved for Achilles. She finally relented by writing Patroclus' name upon the tomb. In the end, it was Thetis who made way for Patroclus to pass into the afterlife and be reunited with Achilles.


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The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is a story of courage, grief, unending devotion, pride, and unconditional love. It features Achilles not only as a warrior and demigod, but as a lover too.



If you haven’t read the book yet or are still looking to buy your own copy, you can order The Song of Achilles from Fully Booked today.

For other great reads from brilliant authors that you should not miss, check out our shelves.



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