In the Iliad, Homer defines heroism in three ways, Strength, Bravery, and being a Warrior. To stand up bravely, always to fight in the front ranks. The highest honor, to these heroes, can only be attained from battle. Nowhere in the Iliad has Achilles been carried away by a god to safety. While the war begins as a struggle for justice and vengeance, provoked by Helen, she unleashes something that goes beyond her — the love of fame or glory, in which heroic ambition finds its natural expression. This proves heroism, not in the sense of physical prowess or fighting skill, but in an emotional concept.
He was also deeply loyal and would sacrifice anything for his friends and family. Thus, Achilles is the strongest mortal alive. Hector has mixed feelings about taking part in the war. By saying this, Hector forces his brother, Prince Paris, to fight against Menelaus. Achilles, for example, feels that he has lost his honor when Agamemnon takes Briseis from him.
The hero's duty was to fight, and the only way he had of gaining glory and immortality was through heroic action on the battlefield; thus, he continually prepared his life for the life-and-death risks of battle. Many would come to think that he is not very heroic. Some have heroes such as fire fighters, police officers, or soldiers in the military due to the bravery the show protecting the country. When Agamemnon takes Brises, Achilles war prize, he refrains from fighting in battle. Athena plays a very influential role in the… 1354 Words 6 Pages people surrounding their history. Achilles and Hector The Homeric Hero Benardete, Seth Seth Benardete's study of the Iliad, which initiated his scholarly career, bears the hallmarks of the unique turn of mind that characterized all his later work. In Homer's Iliad, courage is valued over honesty and even faithfulness to one's wife.
I will answer in the context of Ancient Greek tradition only, i. While the war begins as a struggle for justice and vengeance, provoked by Helen, she unleashes something that goes beyond her — the love of fame or glory, in which heroic ambition finds its natural expression. In Book Twenty-Two, Hector stays outside the ramparts, whereas his supporters are secure. Patroklos, however, forgets this principle, as well as Achilles' warning not to drive the Trojans back to their city. Only Achilles fights for pure heroics, while the characters of Diomedes and Hector provide good contrasts.
This self-admitted inferiority to Achilles is enough to make Achilles the greater hero. The Iliad is not a work that gives a mere account of historic facts and events but one where the characters are the protagonists by virtue of their behavior, values, motives and decisions which affect the flow of the poem. Achilles fights for the Greeks, while Hector defends the Trojans. He mirrors Achilles in some of his flaws, but his bloodlust is not so great as that of Achilles. Error sometimes occurs when the hero seeks only honor. As the death of Patroklos drove all kindness of his heart, he brutally kills the Trojan soldiers.
Hektor has sufficient flaws and errors to cause him to deserve his death. The gods and goddesses role in this poem is of controlling the lives of the Trojans and Greeks, intervening in their fates and destinies daily for their own good, provoking… 1051 Words 5 Pages In Homer's epic poem, the Odyssey, the recurring theme of intelligence is important because through intelligence, Odysseus is able to utilize wit and cunning to suit his needs and wants, as well as defeat bigger and stronger opponents than he. Achilles, who represents the Achaians and Hector, who represents the Trojans. There are other characters, such as Aeneas, who have mothers whom are goddesses, but it appears that Achilles is the only mortal character who can affect the will of the gods. He is hesitant and disinclined about whether to get involved or not to get involved in the war. A hero always had two choices: He could follow an external force, or he could make his own personal decisions. That brings into question whether Achilles is really the hero of the story at all or if it is Hector or one of the other warriors written about.
Achilles, on the other hand, wins eternal glory by explicitly rejecting the option of a long, comfortable, uneventful life at home. Many say he is the true hero of the Iliad and that he did die heroically with his dignity intact. Yet despite the threat of others' judgements, note the actions of both Agamemnon and Achilles during the quarrel in Book I. That is, Hektor continues a fight that everyone, including himself, knows is doomed by fate because he grasps at the illusion of Trojan victory. The same honor waits for the coward and the brave. Achilles: The Illiad When the Iliad begins, the Trojan War has been going on for nine years.
The answer to your question is therefore the following: Achilles is not only a hero, but the central hero in Iliad, because he knew from his immortal mother Nereid Thetis that if he fought in the Troyan War he would die. Killing seems associated with being similar to a god. The Greeks lost one battle after another. Priam's plea to his son is similar to Hekuba's, but his plea is for family continuity and for Troy. If the epithets were properly understood, Benardete suggests, however hesitantly, the plot of the Iliad would necessarily follow. Both men are at fault.