05 Jul 2022 (Last Modified 08 Jul 2022)
Eleven is a lead character in the Netflix Series Stranger Things who has telekinetic and telepathic powers brought into focus by rage. I was watching Season 4 while starting Lattimore’s translation of the Iliad as part of my rereading the classics.
In the Iliad Achilles fights for Agamemnon against Troy because he chooses a short life of accomplishment over a long life of anonyminity. For Achilles, accomplishment is glory of dying heroically in battle. Translations use the word glory, but I think the phrase “veneration, respect, and esteem of later generations” conveys the notion more accurately, even though more clunkily. Despite haven chosing for five minutes of fame over the quiet life, the Iliad opens with Achilles’ temper flaring when Agamemnon and Achilles’ egos clash over redividing the spoils of war Achilles retreats from the battlefield in a huff, returning only when he gets angry at the death of Patroclus.
In Stranger Things, at least the canonical seasons 1-3, Eleven is portrayed as a weapon developed by the US government to assassinate people from afar. Her telekinetic and telepathic abilitys are displayed in demonstrations of rage.
Some of the similarities between Achilles and Eleven arise because each character’s story is being told by a skillful narrator. Both stories begin in media res.