Based on the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War, the Song of Achilles is an impressive original reimagination of Homer’s classic work, The Iliad. The book was written by Madeline Miller and quickly became a critically acclaimed masterwork praised by J.K. Rowling, Vogue, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, USA Today, and Time Magazine.
The Song of Achilles retells the tale of Achilles in a new light about how the son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and King Peleus becomes the “best of all the Greeks”. It also shows Patroclus, the exiled Prince, and Achilles’ relationship as they train under the centaur Chiron in the arts of War and Medicine and how they join the cause for Helen of Sparta’s rescue in Troy. The book is full of thrilling action and romance and is a fan favorite for its fantastic storytelling and well-fleshed characters. We have compiled the best The Song of Achilles quotes to spark a sense of nostalgia in the fans and remind them of the best moments in the book.
Here Are Some of the Most Inspiring The Song of Achilles Quotes
1.“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.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
2.“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?” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
3.“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.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
4.“He is half of my soul, as the poets say.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
5.“When he died, all things soft and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
6.“We were like gods at the dawning of the world, & our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
7.“I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me. If I had had words to speak such a thing, I would have. But there were none that seemed big enough for it to hold that swelling truth. As if he had heard me, he reached for my hand. I did not need to look; his fingers were etched into my memory, slender and petal-veined, strong and quick, and never wrong. “Patroclus,” he said. He was always better with words than I.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
8.“There are no bargains between lion and men. I will kill you and eat you raw.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
9.“Chiron had said once that nations were the most foolish of mortal inventions. “No man is worth more than another, wherever he is from.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
10.“This, I say. This and this. The way his hair looked in the summer sun. His face when he ran. His eyes solemn as an owl at lessons. This and this and this. So many moments of happiness, crowding forward.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
11.“Name one hero who was happy.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
12.“I found myself grinning until my cheeks hurt, my scalp prickling till I thought it might lift off my head. My tongue ran away from me, giddy with freedom. This, and this, and this, I said to him. I did not have to fear that I spoke too much. I did not have to worry that I was too slender or too slow. This and this and this! I taught him how to skip stones, and he taught me how to carve wood. I could feel every nerve in my body, every brush of air against my skin.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
13.“There was more to say, but for once, we did not say it. There would be other times for speaking, tonight and tomorrow and all the days after that. He let go of my hand.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
14.“I stopped watching for ridicule, the scorpion’s tail hidden in his words. 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?” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
15.“Patroclus, he says, Patroclus. Patroclus. Over and over until it is sound only.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
16.“It is right to seek peace for the dead. You and I both know there is no peace for those who live after.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
17.“What is admired in one generation is abhorred in another. We cannot say who will survive the holocaust of memory… We are men only, a brief flare of the torch.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
18.“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.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
19.”When he speaks, at last, his voice is weary and defeated. He doesn’t know how to be angry with me, either. We are like damp wood that won’t light.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
20.”The greater the monument, the greater the man. The stone the Greeks quarry for his grave is huge and white, stretching up to the sky. A C H I L L E S, it reads. It will stand for him, and speak to all who pass: he lived and died, and lives again in memory.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
21.”Perhaps such things pass for virtue among the gods. But how is there glory in taking life? We die so easily. Would you make him another Pyrrhus? Let the stories of him be something more.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
22.”They leaned towards him, like flowers to the sun, drinking in his luster. It was as Odysseus had said: he had light enough to make heroes of them all.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
23.”He is a mortal,” she says. “And mortals die.” “I am a mortal!” he screams. “What good is godhead if it cannot do this? What good are you?” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
24.”An ugly man, with a face sharp like a weasel and a habit of running a flickering tongue over his lips before he speaks. But most ugly of all are his eyes: blue, bright blue. When people see them, they flinch. Such things are freakish. He is lucky he was not killed at birth.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
25.”Wealth and reputation were the things our people had always killed for.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
26.”My mind is filled with cataclysm and apocalypse: I wish for earthquakes, eruptions, flood. Only that seems large enough to hold all of my rage and grief. I want the world overturned like a bowl of eggs, smashed at my feet.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
27.”My consolation is that we will be together in the underworld. That we will meet again there, if not in this life. I would not wish to be there without her.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
28.”I learned to sleep during the day so that I would not be tired when he returned; he always needed to talk then, to tell me down to the last detail about the faces and the wounds and the movements of men. And I wanted to be able to listen, to digest the bloody images, to paint them flat and unremarkable onto the vase of posterity. To release him from it and make him Achilles again.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
29.”Exile might satisfy the anger of the living, but it did not appease the dead.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
The Song of Achilles – Book Review
Daniel Greene’s review of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.
The Song of Achilles is a heartfelt and moving retelling of Homer’s The Iliad about Achilles and Patroclus. The book shows their relationship in an intimate light and highlights the rescue mission of Helen of Sparta in the Trojan War. Fans worldwide love the book for its beautiful and descriptive writing and meticulous storytelling. Madeline Miller, the author of The Song of Achilles, received critical acclaim for her debut work and modern retelling, which depicted the characters’ relationship from boyhood to adulthood. It is a highly entertaining and absorbing read, and fans specifically love parts, and The Song of Achilles quotes that the author has penned so beautifully in the book.
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Image Credit – Domenico Cunego (1727—1794), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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