Ah, it all boils down to wounded pride and vexation over the loss of a woman.  Achilles withdraws from the war because his king pulled rank and took his lady-loot, Briseis.  Later in Logue’s pithy wording, Achilles is described by one of his peers as Wondersulk. These sixty ‘handsome-bodied warriors’ are impressive until you realize they are just in a day’s slaughter for Achilles, leaving Briseis and other widows or orphans as so much battle-chattel to be squabbled over by the handsome-bodied warriors who are still standing among the carnage.


Except for her, my ribbon she,

Whose dauntless husband plus some 60

Handsome-bodied warriors I killed and burned.


Source: Christopher Logue, War Music, London: Faber and Faber, 2001, p. 19

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