25 Counter-Narrative: Patroclus’ Perspective

Counter-Narrative: Patroclus' Perspective

Book 9 of the Iliad by Homer (whoever that is) from Patroclus’ perspective (by Sarah Grade)

You tell me to greet them. You tell me to serve them. You tell me they are our dearest friends.

But when will you tell me the truth?

Achilles, I can no longer sit in silence, across from you while you sing your own praises. Sing the praises of your battle and your glory. All yours. When you rise, I rise. What you say, I do. I can no longer sit in silence and watch you destroy yourself.

They offer you a deal, straight from Agamemnon’s mouth to your ears. Briseis and the righting of a wrong for the lives of those that will be killed in your absence. You know you are strong. You know you can defeat Hector. All this you hold against them.

But you also know that you will die.

Maybe I am selfish in my silence.

Maybe if I let you refuse to return to battle, you will actually stay. We can be beloved companions forevermore. Maybe we can live quiet lives with your lyre and my silence.

But to live quietly with the souls of hundreds of men who will die as a result of your actions will not be living at all.

I cannot tell you this, because you might actually listen to me.

You know I would give everything for you. I would give my life and my happiness for yours every time. I don’t need to tell you that I love you. You know.

I can’t let you destroy yourself. I can’t let hundreds of men die. These stupid ideals and expectations have led us to hide away together in this cave and yes I am grateful for this time that we have had but we both know it will never last. Your ego or my honor or your honor or my love will prevail.

And so I will wait. Until I can’t wait anymore. Until the consequences of your cruelty become too much to bear. I love you too much to let you die. I love my people too much to let them die.

Ha you would never go through this moral dilemma. Your ego is too big to allow it. But I can be strong for the both of us. You don’t have to be strong. Not this time.

This time, when I rise, you will rise. When I fight, you will fight. And when I die, you will probably do something stupid, and will die.


Gender & Sexuality in Ancient Greece Copyright © by Jody Valentine. All Rights Reserved.

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