The heroism of hector and achilles in homers the iliad

In the Greek tradition, the war lasted for ten years.

The heroism of hector and achilles in homers the iliad

The Achilles of ancient Greek legend is often counted among the greatest of epic heroes for his fantastical exploits during the Trojan War as depicted by Homer in the Iliad. While it is easy to become seduced by the power and might of invincible Achilles we must remember to not confuse unchecked power with heroism.

While Achilles is indeed powerful, a master warrior by all qualifications, he fails as a hero to be imitated or idolized due to his lack of restraint, his barbarity, his lack of a code of conduct, his impiety and his dishonorable behavior.

Odysseus - Wikipedia

Achilles wields great courage and fortitude but he is also is critically deficient in the other perhaps more important cornerstones of the epic hero: Driven by his ill-tempered thirst for glory and prizewinning, Achilles is unable to control himself in the face of humiliation and defeat.

It is this character flaw which makes the son of Peleus an unacceptable role model. We begin the Iiad with Achilles already in a rage as victory in the Trojan War, the epic confrontation between Ilium and Hellas sprung from the Trojan abduction of Helen of Troy from her lawful Greek husband Menelaus, looms overhead, the Greeks having finally sacked one of the last remaining Trojan allied towns and now preparing to march on the glorious city of Troy itself.

In the looting of the town the Greek King Agamemnon had claimed Chryseis as a war prize while Achilles claimed Briseis.

Odyssey - Wikipedia

The father of Chryseis, a man by the name of Chryses who was a priest of Apollo, having pleaded for his daughters return and having been rebuffed by Agamemnon soon called upon his god for aid who unleashed a series of plagues on the Greek fleet in retribution for the theft.

While Agamemnon stubbornly refused to return the girl, Achilles called forth a council of the Greek officers to come to a solution in hopes of relieving the fleet from the wrath of Apollo. Agamemnon opted to return Chryseis but also demanded Achilles surrender Briseis and in doing so dishonored him publicly and stole his glory.

Achilles spent the next months brooding with fury in his beachside command tent accompanied by his dear friend Patroclus as the Greeks were pushed further and further from the walls of Troy and to the brink of destruction by the seemingly unstoppable Hector.

When it became clear that Hectors forces would soon completely overrun the Greek beachhead and burn the landing ships, leaving the Hellenes stranded, surrounded by enemy and cut off from supply, Achilles still refused to flinch and allowed his countrymen to be slaughtered rather than defend them.

Instead of meeting the responsibilities which accompanied his demigodhood Achilles was content instead to remain idle, even after in book IX Agamemnon pleaded to surrender all of his prizes if just the warrior would return to the field.

Achilles only responded after Patroclus, in an effort to inspire the demoralized Greeks and rout the advancing Trojans, donned the armor of Achilles and charged forth against Hector, who slew him outright. Achilles now channeled his rage away from Agamemnon who he perceived as betraying him and displaced it on Hector, joining the fight against the Trojans in a blind rage.

Rather than temper the initial embarrassment of Agamemnon incurred during the loss of his prize woman, aiding in the final push on Troy and ending the campaign without undue bloodshed, the selfish Achilles resorted to negligent and reckless behavior, allowing his countrymen, who had done him no wrong and who he had called brothers in the years preceding the blunder of the king, to perish before Hector.

Achilles had in himself the power to preserve life and instead of wielding it for good instead used it to gratify his own ego and perceived insults with the blood of Trojans. This behavior is unbecoming of a great hero and is humbled by the excellent example of modest and temperate Aeneas who in Vergils Aeneid would come to wield power reluctantly and always with prudence and a just direction.

The psychological flaw of Achilles is in his failure to differentiate between what is in his control and what is outside of his control, a realization central to the philosophy of Stoicism which had come to be the de facto religion of the educated elite by the time of Vergil Murray Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions.

Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions. Achilles expects other people to respect his glory, expects others to behave in an honorable way, and thus becomes enraged when a force outside of his control, Agamemnon, seemingly commits an injustice against him.

Achilles is the driver who consistently becomes offended when others on the road behave erratically and degrades himself by always falling prone to the same anger and faulty judgment about the nature of the world.

A nobler, more heroic man is aware of what in his control and what is outside of his control and is cognizant that the opinions and actions of others are nothing to him as they cannot be ruled by him.

The heroism of hector and achilles in homers the iliad

The true insult to Achilles was not his woman being stolen but his own behavior in how he dealt with it: Instead of focusing on how best he could control what is in his power his own actions, decisions and judgmentsAchilles became obsessed with an injustice inflicted against him which he was powerless in righting and so unmade himself.

Marcus Aurelius in the Meditations summarized heroic temperance and magnanimity the best When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliess of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own — not of the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine.Odysseus (/ oʊ ˈ d ɪ s i ə s, oʊ ˈ d ɪ sj uː s /; Greek: Ὀδυσσεύς, Ὀδυσεύς, Ὀdysseús [odysse͜ús]), also known by the Latin variant Ulysses (US: / juː ˈ l ɪ s iː z /, UK: / ˈ juː l ɪ s iː z /; Latin: Ulyssēs, Ulixēs), is a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the grupobittia.comus also plays a key role in Homer's Iliad and other.

The Odyssey of Homer is a Greek epic poem that tells of the return journey of Odysseus to the island of Ithaca from the war at Troy, which Homer addressed in The grupobittia.com the Greek tradition, the.

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Get an answer for 'Describe Achilles' main characteristics in Homer's Iliad?' and find homework help for other Iliad questions at eNotes. I apologize for the awkward citations in this essay, MLA just didn’t jive with such heavy usage of online text research. The Achilles of ancient Greek legend is often counted among the greatest of epic heroes for his fantastical exploits during the Trojan War as depicted by Homer in the Iliad.

While it is easy to become seduced by the power and might of invincible Achilles we must remember. The Odyssey begins after the end of the ten-year Trojan War (the subject of the Iliad), and Odysseus has still not returned home from the grupobittia.comus' son Telemachus is about 20 years old and is sharing his absent father's house on the island of Ithaca with his mother Penelope and a crowd of boisterous young men, "the Suitors", whose aim is to persuade Penelope to marry one of them, all.

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Describe Achilles' main characteristics in Homer's Iliad? | eNotes