The Song of Achilles

Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles

Recommendation inspired by:
A tour of the Ancient Greek Underworld - Iseult Gillespie

Why we love this book:

You’re probably familiar with the story of Achilles and his proverbial heel. But less familiar is Patroclus— who was he? And why did his death inspire such devastation in Achilles? Told from the perspective of Patroclus, Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles finally offers us answers. This epic retelling follows the boys from adolescent friendship to the shores of Troy, and gives new dimension to ancient characters. We meet the lover beneath the wrathful demigod Achilles. Patroclus is no longer a shadowy mystery, but a lonely outcast whose loyalty and love for Achilles ushers him to a tragic end. And Briseis, typically cast only as Agamemnon’s pawn, is a woman of shrewd intelligence. Miller manages to make one of our oldest and most seminal tales feel new again— ensuring that generations to come will learn these legends’ names. Which is something, I think, Achilles would be pleased to hear.

Recommended by:
Lauren McAlpine, TED-Ed Team

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