Similar considerations apply to tragic learning through suffering, pathei
mathos, a prototype of which Achilles undergoes in the Iliad. The death
of his dear companion, Patroklos, brings home to Achilles the value of the
life he sacrifices to glory. But killing Patroklos is Zeus’s way of redirecting
Achilles’ anger from Agamemnon to the Trojans. It is a catalyst for shifting
responsibility and anger one step further from child-sacrificing parents and
parent-figures (including Zeus himself, at this moment) and one step closer to
the hero-son himself. Achilles’ learning through suffering thus plays a pivotal
role in obliterating perceptions of sacrificial parenting.

Becoming Achilles, 3

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