Achilles vs. Agamemnon In the epic poem, The Iliad, Homer describes the social collision of Achilles and Agamemnon who fight over pride and anger. While both men are prominent figures in the poem only one man is justified in his actions. Achilles has the vindicated point of view because he is the greater warrior. He thrived in every area for success and succeeded his great reputation every chance. He fought nobly in all battles and believed in tradition when called upon.
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
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.
The Iliad still has much to say about war, even as it is fought today. It tells us that war is both the bringer of renown to its young fighters and the destroyer of their lives. It tells us about post-conflict destruction and chaos; about war as the great reverser of fortunes. It tells us about the age-old dilemmas of fighters compelled to serve under incompetent superiors. It tells us about war as an attempt to protect and preserve a treasured way of life.
Hector and Achilles as Classic Heroes of Homer's Iliad Literary heroes have been important to stories and poems throughout history. Each author develops his hero through a unique writing style, combining conscious use of detail, diction, tone and other narrative techniques to outline a hero's personality. Homer, in his epic poem The Iliad, develops two classic heroes who are totally different at first glance, but upon a closer look are very similar in terms of their basic characteristics. Hector and Achilles both are courageous soldiers, relatively honorable men, and respected leaders, but they also both have human failings that eventually lead to tragedy. In Homer's lyrical verses and in his use of detail, diction, and imagery, he paints his own portrait of a classic hero through the brave deeds as well as the human flaws of Hector and Achilles that eventually lead to the downfall of proud and powerful Hector.
It is for this reason that the Great War was seen as an opportunity by men, where they could prove their virility by displaying warrior traits of aggression, endurance and camaraderie, defying all aspects that were associated with that of female qualities. With these ideas in mind, the repercussions of war left men in such a state of serious psychological and physical trauma that they suffered from Shell-Shock or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). To be a man meant the repression of emotions and the willingness to sacrifice oneself physically and emotionally for the good of their country. Lastly, those that did not enlist into war were bullied into it by a propagandistic scheme known as the White Feather Campaign. Definitions of masculinity have changed over the centuries with particular focus on the idea of male virility.
Understanding Achilles In Norton’s Book I and Book XXIV of the Iliad, mighty Greek Achilles is the main character. Achilles has great confidence in believing he holds a high place in society, compulsive anger issues, along with an immense sensitive heart. Throughout the story of the battle against the Greek and Trojan armies, Achilles’ personality and qualities are apparent and proven all throughout Norton’s Book I and Book XXIV of the Iliad. Achilles has an overwhelming exalted conception of his place in society that is profoundly proven in Norton’s Book I of the Iliad. His cockiness of being so “strong, swift, and godlike” (Norton’s page 110) results from many reasons.
In the two epics I am familiar with (Beowulf and Odysseus), both “heroes” were originally driven by their own hubris, ego, and self-admiration. Yet, as they progressed throughout the story, they found that they are no longer propelled by themselves and their ideals, rather, the values of the civilization or purer intentions all-together. The interesting thing about epics is the incorporation of the struggle between man and god. In Greek epics, some gods help the hero on his quest, for example, Athena aiding Odysseus on his journey home. Nevertheless, there always stands that one deity who someone just had to piss off.
Epic heroes are different than your standard everyday hero. Scholars have defined and epic hero as a god-like human being. An epic hero, defined by, Dictionary. Com, “a brave noble character in an epic poem admired for great achievement or affected by grand events.” (www.Dictionary .com) These heroes have been created through poems and stories, in order for man to understand the separation between himself and the spiritual presence in his life. Every society/culture since the creation of man has created this type of hero to embody the values and mores of that time period.