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Honor In The Excellence Of Arête

952 words - 4 pages

In ancient Greece there is an arête difference between Homers era and Sophocles era. Homers era was known as the dark ages where their literacy was lost, and the way to remember their heroes was thru an oral recitation of an epic. Homers era to strive for arête was to be a hero of great power to conquer great lands or die with honor. In addition, that era was a time where men were not the masters of their destiny, but the gods had a huge impact on how they were to be remembered. On the other hand, Sophocles era was an age of enlistment, a classical period in Greece where aspiration for knowledge on men’s power to master himself was important. Sophocles era to make every effort to get arête was by conquering something from the gods by understanding the making of that problem with the minimum help from the gods. Even as the two epics had many differences, both were very similar when it came to the stories of The Iliad and Oedipus the King. Along the same lines, Oedipus and Akhilleus are being depicted as people or characters that handle their own fates; moreover, that fate creates an egotistical mindset in that Oedipus ego helped generated one of the most catastrophic turns in his future resembling Akhilleus. As for Akhilleus ego or his excess pride, bring about his loss of his good friend Patroklos. These two epics argue that because of a man’s hubris for arête is destined to end in a catastrophe.
The seeking of arête can be seen as a universal code of virtue or as the heroes code in the Iliad by Homer uses this code to very condescending making the hero code so important to achieve arête. Homer demonstrate that in the beginning where if the army conquered a land the spoils are divided by the ranking members in which Agamémnon was chosen to be number one, and because of that he had the best praise yet he could not have his price Khrysêis. Homer argues that “for all of that, I am willing now to yield her if it is best; I want the army saved and not destroyed. You must prepare, however, a prize of honor for me at once, that I may not be left without my…” (Homer pp 135, 136 to 140). Homer suggests that this character having compassion towards the anger that he has created will give back his praise for his army, but the code of honor gives him the response of being rewarded if he is to do anything at all. Homer common sense seems to dictate that the character does not want to be in shame or pity because he will lose his honor and by losing honor he will lose the arête that is looked for. In...

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