130 The Song of Achilles Quotes on True Love and Trials

Enjoy these The Song of Achilles quotes, which will carry you to the Greek Heroic Age!

Madeline Miller’s novel, The Song of Achilles, was published in 2011. It is an adaptation of Homer’s Iliad from Patroclus’ point of view. 

If you enjoy romantic stories with a splash of action, this collection is for you! Check out the complete list below to learn more about this one-of-a-kind story.

Start reading here.

And don’t miss out these Six of Crows quotes.

Best Quotes From The Song of Achilles

1. “And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone.” – Chiron

2. “I am made of memories.” – Patroclus

3. “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.” – Patroclus

4. “All I saw was his beauty, his singing limbs, the quick flickering of his feet.” – Patroclus

5. “Our goddess of the moon is gifted with magic, with power over the dead. She could banish the dreams if she wished. She did not.” – Patroclus

6. “The presence of the other boys did not comfort me; our dead come for their vengeance regardless of witnesses.” – Patroclus

7. “We are all there, goddess and mortal and the boy who was both.” – Patroclus

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

9. “We reached for each other and I thought of how many nights I had lain awake in this room loving him in silence.” – Patroclus

10. “My mother told you the rest of the prophecy. And you think that no one but me can kill Hector. And you think to steal time from the Fates?” – Achilles

11. “Kill me. It will not bring him back. He was worth 10 of you. Ten! And you sent him to his death.” – Briseis

12. “Our men liked conquest; they did not trust a man who was conquered himself.” – Patroclus

13. “Until this moment I had been a prince, expected and announced. Now I was negligible.” – Patroclus

14. “I feel like I could eat the world raw.” – Achilles

15. “He is half of my soul, as the poets say.” – Patroclus

Heartwarming Quotes From The Song of Achilles

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

17. “A surety rose in me, lodged in my throat. I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me.” – Patroclus

18. “You are the one who made him go.” – Briseis

19. “We had been silent. We were 14, and these things were too hard for us. Now that we are 27, they still feel too hard.” – Patroclus

20. “We reached for each other, and I thought of how many nights I had lain awake loving him in silence.” – Patroclus

21. “Dear gods, I think, let him not hate me.” – Patroclus

22. “Bring him back to me.” – Achilles

23. “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.” – Patroclus

24. “‘I wish I had known,’ I said, the first day when he showed it to me.” – Patroclus

25. “I don’t think I’ve ever told you how I like it.” – Achilles

26. “But is it not a sort of genius to cut always to the heart.” – Patroclus

27. “I should have known better than to call upon the gods.” – Patroclus

28. “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.” – Patroclus

29. “I saw then how I had changed. 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.” – Patroclus

30. “Tears came, and fell. Above us, the constellations spun and the moon paced her weary course. We lay stricken and sleepless as the hours passed.” – Patroclus

Sarcastic Quotes From The Song of Achilles That Will Make You Smirk

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

32. “There is no answer. Whichever you choose, you are wrong.” – Patroclus

33. “I wish he had let you all die.” – Achilles

34. “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.” – Patroclus

35. “He did not fear ridicule, he had never known it.” – Patroclus

36. “But what if he is your friend? Or your brother? Should you treat him the same as a stranger?” – Achilles

37. “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.” – Patroclus

38. “Nothing could eclipse the stain of his dirty, mortal mediocrity.” – Patroclus

39. “My mind is filled with cataclysm and apocalypse. I wish for earthquakes, eruptions, and floods.” – Patroclus

40. “And perhaps you should get some new stories, so I don’t fucking kill myself of boredom.” – Odysseus

41. “Son of Laertes, I do not remember inviting you to speak.” – Menoetius

42. “I hope that Hector kills you.” – Briseis

43. “Do you think I do not hope the same?” – Achilles

44. “I was not invited. I interrupted.” – Ajax

45. “Ah. Well, why should I kill him? He’s done nothing to me.” – Achilles

Profound Quotes From The Song of Achilles That Will Make You Think About Life

46. “No man is worth more than another, wherever he is from.” – Chiron

47. “True. But fame is a strange thing. Some men gain glory after they die, while others fade. What is admired in one generation is abhorred in another.” – Odysseus

48. “He was watching me, his eyes as deep as earth.” – Patroclus

49. “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.” – Patroclus

50. “Maybe her gods are kinder than ours, and she will find rest.” – Patroclus

51. “He had light enough to make heroes of them all.” – Odysseus

52. “Now I know how to make you follow me everywhere.” – Achilles

53. “The memories come, and come. She listens, staring into the grain of the stone.” – Patroclus

54. “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.” – Patroclus

55. “It was all she said, but I felt the shiver go through the men around me. Even as a child I felt it, and I marveled at the power of this woman who, though veiled, could electrify a room.” – Patroclus

56. “He was watching me closely, reading my face over and over, like a priest searching the auguries for an answer. I could see the slight line in his forehead that meant utmost concentration.” – Patroclus

57. “He is worth more to you, perhaps. But the stranger is someone else’s friend and brother. So which life is more important?” – Chiron

58. “It was almost like fear, in the way it filled me, rising in my chest. It was almost like tears, in how swiftly it came. But it was neither of those, buoyant where they were heavy, bright was they dull.” – Patroclus

59. “Her skin, we suddenly remembered, was rumored to be gilded, her eyes dark and shining as the slick obsidian that we traded our olives for.” – Patroclus

60. “For who can be ashamed to lose to such beauty?” – Patroclus

Quotes From The Song of Achilles That You’ll Enjoy

61. “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.” – Patroclus

62. “The rosy gleam of his lip, the fevered green of his eyes. There was not a line anywhere on his face, nothing creased or graying; all crisp.” – Patroclus

63. “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.” – Patroclus

64. “I almost did not come, because I did not want to believe it.” – Patroclus

65. “This was a man who moved like the gods were watching—every gesture he made was upright and correct. There was no one else it could be but Hector.” – Patroclus

66. “Later Achilles would play the lyre, as Chiron and I listened. My mother’s lyre. He had brought it with him.” – Patroclus

67. “An ugly man, with a face sharp like a weasel and a habit of running a flickering tongue over his lips before he speaks.” – Patroclus

68. “This is how I think of us when I remember our nights at Troy—Achilles and I beside each other, Phoenix smiling and Automedon stuttering through the punch lines of jokes, and Briseis with her secret eyes and quick, spilling laughter.” – Patroclus

69. “I conjured the boy I knew. Achilles, grinning as the figs blur in his hands. His green eyes laughed into mine. Catch, he says. Achilles, outlined against the sky, hanging from a branch over the river.” – Patroclus

70. “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.” – Patroclus

71. “Her voice was low and lovely, carrying to every corner of the hall.” – Patroclus

72. “At that moment she was worth all the prizes in the center of the hall, and more. She was worth our lives.” – Patroclus

73. “Something shifted in me then, like the frozen surface of the Apidanos in spring. I had seen the way he looked at Deidameia; or rather the way he did not.” – Patroclus

74. “Agamemnon posted guards to watch Troy every hour of every day. We were all waiting for something—an attack, or an embassy, or a demonstration of power.” – Patroclus

75. “‘Philtatos, best of men, and slaughtered by your son.” – Achilles

Metaphorical and Serious Quotes From The Song of Achilles

76. “And her skin shone luminous and impossibly pale as if it drank light from the moon.” – Patroclus

77. “Thetis spends the whole novel fighting the limitations placed on her, desperately trying to eke out the best she can from a bad situation. This makes her fierce and terrifying.” – Patroclus

78. “Our mouths opened under each other, and the warmth of his sweetened throat poured into mine. I could not think, could not do anything but drink him in, each breath as it came, the soft movements of his lips. It was a miracle.” – Patroclus

79. “The ship’s boards were still sticky with new resin. We leaned over the railing to wave our last farewell, the sun-warm wood pressed against our bellies. The sailors heaved up the anchor, square and chalky with barnacles, and loosened the sails.” – Patroclus

80. “Her mouth was a gash of red, like the torn-open stomach of a sacrifice, bloody and oracular. Behind it her teeth shone sharp and white as bone.” – Patroclus

81. “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.” – Patroclus

82. “His face twisted with embarrassment, and in spite of itself my heart lightened. It was such a boyish response. And so human. Parents, everywhere.” – Patroclus

83. “I shift, an infinitesimal movement, towards him. It is like the leap from a waterfall. I do not know, until then, what I am going to do.” – Patroclus

84. “And when he moved it was like watching oil spread across a lake, smooth and fluid, almost vicious.” – Patroclus

85. “He knew, but it was not enough. The sorrow was so large it threatened to tear through my skin.” – Patroclus

86. “Then they took their seats at the oars that fringed the boat like eyelashes, waiting for the count. The drums began to beat, and the oars lifted and fell, taking us to Troy.” – Patroclus

87. “Achilles smiles as his face strikes the earth.” – Patroclus

88. “There was nothing clever to say, so I said something foolish.” – Patroclus

89. “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.” – Patroclus

90. “Name one hero who was happy.” – Chiron

Quotes From The Song of Achilles to Widen Your Imagination and Understanding of the World

91. “Bury us, and mark our names above. Let us be free.” – Patroclus

92. “I am air and thought and can do nothing.” – Patroclus

93. “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.” – Patroclus

94. “I lay back and tried not to think of the minutes passing. Just yesterday we had a wealth of them. Now, each was a drop of heartsblood lost.” – Patroclus

95. “We cannot say who will survive the holocaust of memory. We are men only, a brief flare of the torch.” – Odysseus

96. “The greater the monument, the greater the man.” – Patroclus

97. “Perhaps he simply assumed—a bitterness of habit, of boy after boy trained for music and medicine, and unleashed for murder.” – Patroclus

98. “This is what Achilles will feel like when he is old. And then I remembered—he will never be old.” – Patroclus

99. “I began to surprise Achilles, calling out to these men as we walked through the camp. I was always gratified at how they would raise a hand in return, point to a scar that had healed over well.” – Patroclus

100. “The sound was pure and sweet as water, bright as lemons.” – Patroclus

101. “There is no honor in betraying your friends.” – Patroclus

102. “As for the goddess’s answer, I did not care. I would have no need of her. I did not plan to live after he was gone.” – Patroclus

103. “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.” – Patroclus

104. “He collects my ashes himself, though this is a woman’s duty. He puts them in a golden urn, the finest in our camp, and turns to the watching Greeks.” – Patroclus

105. “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

Quotes That Highlight The Song of Achilles’ Themes of Death and Darkness

106. “This is what it will be, every day, without him. I felt a wild-eyed tightness in my chest, like a scream.” – Patroclus

107. “The flames surround me, and I feel myself slipping further from life, thinning to only the faintest shiver in the air. I yearn for the darkness and silence of the underworld, where I can rest.” – Patroclus

108. “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.” – Iphigenia

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

110. “When he died, all things soft and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.” – Patroclus

111. “He was spring, golden and bright. Envious death would drink his blood, and grow young again.” – Patroclus

112. “You have killed him and taken your vengeance. It is enough.” – Thetis

113. “It is right to seek peace for the dead. You and I both know there is no peace for those who live after.” – Priam

114. “Your honor could be darkened by it.” – Patroclus

115. “When I am dead, I charge you to mingle our ashes and bury us together.” – Achilles

116. “He smiled, and his face was like the sun.” – Patroclus

117. “Achilles weeps. He cradles me, and will not eat, nor speak a word other than my name.” – Patroclus

118. “I rose and rubbed my limbs, slapped them awake, trying to ward off a rising hysteria.” – Patroclus

More Quotes About The Song of Achilles to Give You Insight Into the Author’s Mind

119. “Divine blood flows differently in each god-born child.” – Madeline Miller, Author

120. “It had warmth as a fire does, a texture and weight like polished ivory. It buoyed and soothed at once.” – Madeline Miller, Author

121. “Exile might satisfy the anger of the living, but it did not appease the dead.” – Madeline Miller, Author

122. “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, Author

123. “Take Odysseus’ wife, Penelope, a brilliant, resourceful woman who ends up in a terrible situation—in her husband’s absence, she is being held hostage in her own home by men who claim to be courting her. She tries to make them leave, but because she’s a woman they refuse, blaming their bad behavior on her desirability.” – Madeline Miller, Author

124. “People are people, whatever age they’re living in. The circumstances may have changed—we go to war with planes instead of chariots, but experiences of grief, longing, rage, and love remain the same.” – Madeline Miller, Author

125. “In making Achilles and Patroclus lovers, I wasn’t trying to speak for all gay men, just as when I write straight characters, I don’t claim to speak for all straight people.” – Madeline Miller, Author

126. “A part of what makes myths live is their multiplicity, the way different voices retell them in every generation.” – Madeline Miller, Author

127. “Life for women in ancient Greece was hard—you had to fight for every inch of ground you got. Both Thetis and Briseis are strong, passionate women and in another time and place their lives would have been very different.” – Madeline Miller, Author

128. “Homer survives because his poetry was outstanding, yes, but also because he’s been passed down by so many by luminaries like Vergil and Ovid, Shakespeare, James Joyce, and Margaret Atwood, but also by countless others. I wanted to do my part for these tremendous stories.” – Madeline Miller, Author

129. “Perhaps such things pass for virtue among the gods. But, how is there glory in taking life?” – Madeline Miller, Author

130. “Part of the tragedy of their characters is how much they have to offer and how little of that they get to realize.” – Madeline Miller, Author

What Did You Learn About Honor and Glory From This Collection?

In 2012, The Song of Achilles won the Orange Prize for Fiction. The novel follows the story of Achilles and Patroclus from their romantic relationship to their exploits during the Trojan War.

They joined the Greeks and fought the Trojans at Troy. By demonstrating his superior warrior strength, Achilles triumphed in several battles.

As the war progresses, Achilles assassinates more and more notable Trojans. When Paris shoots Achilles with an arrow, he is finally killed by Paris, King Priam’s son, who had taken Helen.

For Achilles, warfare is honorable, and this honor will define their legacies. We hope that through this list, we were able to highlight the value of dignity, accepting apologies, and the importance of family bonds. 

Which quotes left a lasting impression on you? Are you a fan of Greek history and mythology? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

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