Ismail Kadaré

The Anger of Achilles

The Iliad, the first great poem in Western literature, begins with an invocation of anger. ("Sing, Goddess, the anger of Peleus' son Achilleus"). The theme is war, a war that seems to have no beginning or end, and accompanies the human race throughout history.


From Homer onwards the wish for death and destruction has been a constant theme in great literature. Ismail Kadaré speaks about this evidence, which is manifested in the tragic poets of Antiquity, taking in the works of Shakespeare, where war is usually an inevitable outcome of tyranny, before arriving at the literature of modern times, full of martial tragedy.