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Quotes Galore : The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Quotes Galore : The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

 

The Song of Achilles has caught my attention numerous times before I decided to give it a go. I did not know what made me postpone picking this book up sooner, but I am glad I did and waited for the right moment to read it.

This book was a masterpiece. Hands down. But despite it all, The Song of Achilles was, by no means, an easy read. Which is why I truly believe if you were to start this book, you have to be in the right mindset to truly absorb and enjoy this wonderful book.

Needless to say, despite the rollercoaster of emotions it took me through – leaving me raw and broken for days after – this book goes down as one of my favorite reads of all time. Ever since I have finished reading The Song of Achilles, I would be lying if I told you I haven’t been searching high and low for more books just like it. But to no avail. There has been some books that came close, but still nowhere near as powerful as this book.

And today for some reason, i feel the yearning to relive the avalanche of emotions The Song of Achilles gave me. And with that, I decided to also bring you along the journey with me.

 

 

 

 

“In the huge hall, his beauty shone like a flame, vital and bright, drawing my eye against my will. ”

 

“Those seconds, half seconds, that the line of our gaze connected, were the only moment in my day that I felt anything at all.”

 

“Patroclus.” Achilles did not slur my name, as people often did, running it together as if in a hurry to be rid of it. Instead, he rang each syllable: Pa-tro-clus.”

 

“He looked different in sleep, beautiful but cold as moonlight. I found myself wishing he would wake so that I might watch the life return.”

 

“He said what he meant; he was puzzled if you did not. Some people might have mistaken this for simplicity. But is it not a sort of genius to cut always to the heart?”

 

“There is no one like you,” I said, at last.

He smiled, and his face was like the sun.”

 

“I did not mind anymore that I lost when we raced and I lost when we swam out to the rocks and I lost when we tossed spears or skipped stones. For who can be ashamed to lose to such beauty? It was enough to watch him win, to see the soles of his feet flashing as they kicked up sand, or the rise and fall of his shoulders as he pulled through the salt. It was enough.”

 

“Do not let what you gained this day be so easily lost.”

 

“There is no law that gods must be fair, Achilles,” Chiron said. “And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone. Do you think?”

 

“Achilles’ eyes were bright in the firelight, his face drawn sharply by the flickering shadows. I would know it in dark or disguise, I told myself. I would know it even in madness.”

 

He pressed against me, crushing my lips to wine.

 

I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me.

 

“We were like gods at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.”

 

“Name one hero who was happy.”

 

“You can’t.” He was sitting up now, leaning forward.

 

“They never let you be famous and happy.” He lifted an eyebrow. “I’ll tell you a secret.”

 

“Tell me.” I loved it when he was like this.

 

“I’m going to be the first.” He took my palm and held it to his. “Swear it.”

 

“Why me?”

 

“Because you’re the reason.”

 

We sat like that a moment, hands touching. He grinned.
“I feel like I could eat the world raw.”

 

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”

 

“I had seen the way he looked at Deidameia; or rather the way he did not. It was the same way he had looked at the boys in Phthia, blank and unseeing. He had never, not once, looked at me that way.”

 

“He did not fear ridicule; he had never known it. ”

 

“Who was he if not miraculous and radiant? Who was he if not destined for fame?

 

He was spring, golden and bright. 

 

When he died, all things swift and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.”

 

“I will go,” he said. “I will go to Troy.”

The never-ending ache of love and sorrow. Perhaps in some other life I could have refused, could have torn my hair and screamed, and made him face his choice alone. But not in this one. He would sail to Troy and I would follow, even into death. “Yes,” I whispered. “Yes.”

 

“Perhaps he is right,” I said.

 

Achilles’ head came up, frowning. “You do not think that.”

 

“I do not mean—” I twisted my fingers. “I would still be with you. But I could sleep outside, so it would not be so obvious. I do not need to attend your councils. I—”

 

“No. The Phthians will not care. And the others can talk all they like. I will still be Aristos Achaion.” Best of the Greeks.

 

“Your honor could be darkened by it.”

 

“Then it is darkened.” His jaw shot forward, stubborn. “They are fools if they let my glory rise or fall on this.”

 

“But Odysseus—”

 

His eyes, green as spring leaves, met mine. “Patroclus. I have given enough to them. I will not give them this.”

 

“He stirs and the air stirs with him, bearing the musk-sweet smell of his body. I think: This is what I will miss. I think: I will kill myself rather than miss it. I think: How long do we have?”

 

“He is a weapon, a killer. Do not forget it. You can use a spear as a walking stick, but that will not change its nature.”

 

“I wanted to wake him and see those eyes open. A thousand thousand times I had seen it, but I never tired of it.”

 

He is half of my soul, as the poets say. 

 

“If the camp falls, I will claim you as my husband. It may help some. You must not speak of what you were to him, though. It will be a death sentence.” Her hand has tightened on my arm. 

 

“Briseis,” I say, “if he is dead, I will not be far behind.”

 

Achilles makes a sound like choking.

 

“There are no bargains between lions and men. I will kill you and eat you raw.”

 

“This, I say. This and this. The way his hair looked in summer sun. His face when he ran. His eyes, solemn as an owl at lessons. This and this and this. 

 

Achilles, grinning as the figs blur in his hands. His green eyes laughing into mine. Catch, he says. Achilles, outlined against the sky, hanging from a branch over the river. The thick warmth of his sleepy breath against my ear. If you have to go, I will go with you. My fears forgotten in the golden harbor of his arms.

 

We are all there, goddess and mortal and the boy who was both.”

 

“In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.”

 

The last thing I think is: Achilles.

 

 

 



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