The Iliad Essay

740 words - 3 pages

Aylin WhitePeriod 3 - Ap LitMrs. Ziegler10 September 2014The Iliad Book 1 EssayThe Iliad by Homer provides invaluable insight into Ancient Greek culture by introducing the reader to arête, time, moira. It takes place during the last year of the ten-year Greek-Trojan War. The Greeks have been fighting with the Trojans for quite some time, and just when peace seemed like a possibility, the youngest prince of Troy, Paris, acts out selfishly and steals the beautiful wife of Menelaus, Helen. This instigates the fighting again. Throughout The Iliad, Homer tells of two heroes', both similar, but also very different in their character; the great and powerful Greek, Achilles, and the strong, loving father, Prince Hector of Troy, and amongst the story, many insight of Greek culture is revealed.In Homer's The Iliad, Hector and Achilles differ as heroes in regards to pride, duty, and family love, the latter being self-centered and prideful, while the first is family oriented full of character. One Greek culture expressed by Achilles is arte (excellence, virtue). He possesses superhuman strength and has a close relationship with the gods; he continuously comes across as less than heroic, though. He cannot control his pride and rage that boils up when his ego is attacked. Indeed, the very first sentence of The Iliad illustrates his fury: "An angry man-there is my story: the bitter rancor of Achilles, price of the house of Peleus, which brought a thousand troubles upon the Acaian host. Many a strong soul it sent down to Hades… (Homer, I: Pg.: 3, 1-4). Arete is also portrayed in the poem when King Agamemnon answers: "none of that' you may be a great man, Achilles, you may be more than a man, but do not try cheating- you will neither cajole me nor persuade me. Do you want to keep your own prize, and satisfy me that I get as much as I give…I'll come to you, or to Aias, for a prize, or Odysseus, and away I'll go with my greetings!" (Homer, I: PG: 6,24-32). This showed that because Odysseus and the other two were the best fighters and had the next...

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