Criteria For Heroes Essay

937 words - 4 pages

For individuals to be seen as heroes in ancient world they had to meet specific criteria. Above all, a man needed to be a skilled warrior, who had to respect authority, both governmental and religious. Heroes were given no room for pride, they were to be modest, not only giving credit to their culture and the gods for any great deeds they had done, but also accepting everything that happened as fate, not scenarios they had created for themselves. In other words, they did not make themselves who they are, rather they had been predestined to become it. The final requirement of being a hero was composure. Heroes were not permitted to be blinded by rage or have mood swings.Perhaps the greatest example of Achilles fighting skill is when he fights with and kills Hector, the greatest of the Trojan warriors. However, this fight may have never happened if Athena had not disguised herself as one of Hectors brothers and convinced him to fight. Achilles fails miserably at respecting anyone in authority, whether governmental or religious. He not only disrespects King Agamemnons authority, but also the goddess Athena herself. This lack of respect begins when Achilles calls an assembly of the Greeks, something only Agamemnon was able to do. He then proceeds to insult the king, telling him he is greedy, shameless, a cheater, and a drunk. To top it off, Achilles contemplates drawing his sword to strike down Agamemnon, and is only stopped by Athena grabbing his hair. Needless to say, killing the leader of your nation would be the ultimate act of disrespect to the government. Although he does so badly with respect for government authority, Achilles has no problem respecting human religious authority, only because he has no encounters with priests, prophets, and etceteras. However, he does show some disrespect to Athena for stopping his murder of King Agamemnon. Instead of following the goddess orders whole-heartedly, he does it quite reluctantly and talks back in the process.Humility is another requirement Achilles fails to meet. His excessive pride is seen throughout The Iliad. When he tells Agamemnon that he is withdrawing himself and all his forces from the Trojan War, Achilles makes it sound as if he has done greater things than anyone, putting himself on a pedestal. Never does Achilles credit anyone or anything for his success, including the gods. It is always he himself who has done something. Although Achilles is so prideful about his deeds, he is able to accept Fate. As he reprimands his horses as if it were their fault Patroclos was killed, one of them tells Achilles his death is near. Achilles tells the horse he knows this, indicating he accepts it. Hector does not credit himself for his accomplishments. He usually gets around...

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