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Qualities Of A Hero Illustrated In Homer’s Epic Poem, The Iliad

645 words - 3 pages

The Ancient Greeks idealized and worshiped their heroes, this is portrayed in Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad. To become a hero in ancient Greece, one would have to live and die in pursuit of glory and honor. Both Achilles and Hector seek victory in battle to become the “true hero.” Although both characters possess many hero-like qualities, Hector proved to be the genuine hero.

Heroes are viewed differently today as the average person who is admired for courage or outstanding achievements such as firemen and police officers. The ancient Greeks viewed heroes as those that acquire more than just courage, they must be strong and inspiring as well. Although Achilles proved to be several of these entities, the Iliad begins with Achilles rage which foreshadows his departure from battle that causes Greek ruin."Rage - Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,/murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans/ countless losses hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls, great fighter's souls,/ but made their bodies carrion feats for the dogs and birds/ and the will of Zeus was moving towards its end” ( Homer 1:1-6) This quote portrays the un-hero like attitude of Achilles and the destruction brought upon his choice of leaving the battle. Unlike Achilles, Hector bravely stays in the battle and calls upon Achilles. As Achilles rejoins the battle, Hector cowardly runs from Achilles thus also showing an un-hero like response from Hector. As the epic poem climax’s into the battle between Achilles and Hector, both characters are in angst to whom the God’s will side with.”I know you well- I see my fate before me./Never a chance that I could win you over.../Iron inside your chest, that heart of yours./But now beware, or my curse will draw God’s wrath/upon your head, that day when Paris and lord Apollo-/for all your...

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