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Homer's "The Illiad" Warrior. Essay

876 words - 4 pages

Homer's View of War and Warriors.No reasonable argument can be made that Homer did not celebrate and promote war or the great warriors of Ancient Greece. Throughout Homer's the Iliad, it is made blatantly obvious by the author himself, that being a warrior or going to battle to protect your honor or family was an admirable thing to do. Being a warrior, in Homer's eyes at least, made you a more praiseworthy man. Warriors were referred to in the highest regard and were well known for their strength and courage in the face of a challenge. These challenges and battles between warriors were the only respectable ways of dealing with problems. To run away from a problem or challenge would be considered cowardly, which in turn would make that escapee disgraceful to his army and family. Both being a warrior and partaking in combat, was a way Homer ranked his characters in both honor and importance to society.Homer had a subtle ranking system that was quite simple to understand. If you were a common warrior or part of an army then that was good. If you were a talented warrior and won a few battles in your lifetime that was better. However, if you were in the elite group of astounding warriors that fought in many battles or even died defending your title or honor, Homer held a significant place for you in society. Achilles was one of these elite few. Homer constantly emphasizes what a great warrior Achilles is because not onlydoes he triumph in every battle he fights, but also he defends his honor when his pride is damaged by Agamemnon.My honors never equal yours,Whenever we sack some wealthy Trojan stronghold-My arms bare the brunt of the raw, savage fighting,True, but when it comes to dividing up the plunderThe lion's share is yours, and back I go to my ships,Clutching some scrap, some pittance that I love,When I have fought to exhaustion. (I. 193-199)This line by Achilles perfectly sums up how Homer views Achilles, the strong warrior, and Agamemnon, the selfish leader. Both hold high positions in society but Achilles holds more respect.Not having high values such as fighting in war or defending your honor, would result in scorn from your family as well as society. Homer made this perfectly clear when Hector says to his brother:Paris, appalling Paris! Our prince of beauty-Mad for women, you lure them all to ruin!Would to god you'd never been born, died unwed.That's all I'd ask. Better that way by farThen to have you strutting here, an outrage-A mockery in the eyes of all our enemies.Why, the long-haired Achaeans must be...

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