He even begins the Iliad’s introduction with “the rage of Achilles” (Homer xvii). This shows how significant Achilles is to the poem and history. Homer’s use of the word “rage” is said to only be used when talking about the gods, thus exposing the importance of Achilles (Homer xvii). The poem places Achilles within the “top of its hierarchical structure” because he seen as a hero and superior man (Homer xxi). Achilles follows tradition through the heroic code and through the fight with Hector.
Throughout The <br>Iliad, Achilles went through some significant changes that affected himself, as well as the <br>Achaeans and Trojans. He began a hero and ended a tragic hero. <br> The Trojan War is vital to Greek mythology and provides a backdrop for <br>discussion. Before the war even started, however, it was known by all Trojans and <br>Achaeans that Achilles was the best fighter. He was the hero of all fighters.
Amber Hill Iliad Essay Professor Hicok February 25, 2013 Hector: A True Hero Bravery and courage are some attributes commonly used to distinguish a hero. The Iliad is packed with warriors pursuing the title of epic hero. However, each warrior may hold a slightly different perception of true justice. Notorious Achilles steals center stage, despite the fact that he spends the majority of the epic avoiding the war. Attempting to defeat the ranks of Achaeans is Hector.
Does Achilles emerge as a sympathetic character? Why or why not? Achilles is a Greek warrior who fights in the Trojan War. He is respected and revered as a hero among all of the Greek people and he is the most important character in the Iliad. Achilles is an unbelievable warrior who doesn’t get the thanks he deserves.
Homer’s exploration of Achilles’ struggle for eternal glory establishes the main element of the Hero in ancient Greek culture as the immortalisation of his life in song or epic poetry. Kleos, meaning ‘glory, fame, that which is heard’ refers to both the medium and the message, and is one of the driving forces for many of the warriors in the Illiad. For the heroes, and indeed Achilles, they fight not for their Kings or countries, but for the concept of kleos. In order to achieve this, they have to suffer through an ordeal, accomplish great deeds, show excellence in fighting, and ultimately, die in battle. According to Goldhill, “Poetry confers
His cockiness of being so “strong, swift, and godlike” (Norton’s page 110) results from many reasons. Achilles’ evident strength makes him the most fierce and best fighter of the Greek army. Showing Achilles feels he is so good, the Greek army with be nothing without him, he swears by his scepter to Agamemnon, “When every last Greek desperately misses Achilles, your remorse won’t do any good then, when Hector the man-killer swats you down like flies, and you will your heart out because you have failed to honor the best Greek of all.” (Norton’s page 113) As mentioned, Achilles holds a scepter made from the mountains of Olympus. It is said, “A scepter-holding king has honor beyond the rest of men, power and glory given by Zeus himself.” (Norton’s page 114) The greatest factor of all which allows Achilles to have such a high conception of his position is how he is linked to the gods. Although Achilles’ father, Peleus, is a mortal, his mother is not.
In the Iliad, by Homer, Achilles and Hector both fight for honor, but they are very different individuals because of their motivations to fight, personality traits, and moral codes. One similarity between Hector and Achilles is that their pursuit of honor will be their demise. Hector and Achilles, not unlike most warriors, both fight for honor. (Homer). However, each of these characters is motivated to fight by very different conceptions of honor.
They seek glory on the battlefield, to die a hero, to be honored in death by their people yet they were depicted as very different men who had come to a time in their lives where their ultimate reasons for the war were very different. Achilles was considered the warrior-champion of the Achaeans and came to live his life by violence, defending his people and defeating and or attacking his enemies. He was not a family man instead he is portrayed as a man fighting for his own self-satisfaction. When Agamemnon, also a warrior chieftain, shamed Achilles by claiming Briseis, Achilles war prize he is humiliated and his anger brews and he tells Agamemnon “Far better to head home with my curved ships than stay here, unhonored myself and piling up a fortune for you.” (111) and with that he leaves to back to Phthia. He had decided to kill Agamemnon but Athena came to him, sent by Hera, and told him to get his anger under control.
As leaders of their respective armies, Hector and Agamemnon hold the fate of the war in their hands. Their characters and strategies are completely different, and yet both men, like most others, wish to earn glory and honor in battle. Agamemnon though, prioritizes his individual honor above that of his nation, while Hector believes honor to lie with the successful protection of his city and people. Hector is portrayed as the superior and more honorable leader, fighting a losing war, and Agamemnon is the weaker leader who makes decisions for his own benefit instead of that of his army. Agamemnon’s first decision as a leader was to drag the entire Greek army to a foreign land for a strange woman.
Me and my classmates were fed all those great examples of people fighting during Second World War sacrificing their lives and not even dare to look for any kind of reward other then admitting them into “hero ranks” of their “great” country. Fighting for reward was not hero like behavior. I realize though that this understanding of hero was more due to the norms and obligations of certain time and society. In “The Iliad” hero is noted for his courage and strength and desire to fight especially if they risk their life or put it in any kind of danger. But at the same time Homer also pays great attention to rewards, heroes get for their fighting.