Essay on The Epic Of The Iliad

Essay on The Epic Of The Iliad

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The Homerian epic, The Iliad, portrays many characters exploring the varied stages of grief when facing death. Achilles grieving for Patroclus and Priam for Hector. You could present anticipatory grief in Andromache, due to her expectation of Hector’s demise. Too many focus on the grief of the living. Is the grief of those experiencing death less valid? Brave and valiant Hector, the man killer, is acutely aware of his abbreviated amount of time to reconcile himself with death. He is in a war with depression as he confronts shame; grapples with denial and bargaining when he schemes of a way out; and finally accepts the inevitability of his demise. It’s important to remember that the term stages is used loosely. They are flexible like the ocean. If you swim through an ocean, you encounter different depths, temperatures, and dangers at different intervals. Depths drop off drastically. A storm can arise and dissipate quickly with temperature fluctuations. You may face similar dangers more than once. One person’s journey of the ocean is not identical to another’s. The stages of grief were formally established in “On Death And Dying”, by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. They have no specific length of time and do not take place in a specific order. The stages can be experienced more than once, but you may not face them all. Similarities are confronted as they navigate their ocean, but the voyage is a unique as their life.
Hector’s depression stage of grief is marked by sadness, guilt, and shame. Alone, outside the walls of Troy, he displays these symptoms. Achilles is fast approaching with deadly intent, and Hector is weighing his options:
“Now what? If I take cover inside,
Polydamas will be the first to reproach me.
...


... middle of paper ...


...eir potential outcome and begin to look forward to what they can possibly control or influence in their final moments. How will they die? Will it be honorable? Will their family be proud of them? This is the acknowledgement of the inevitable, and cooperation with it to accomplish realistic goals.
All people face death. Hector is no different. Reconciling fears, guilt, and anger before dying is essentially universal in the dying process. Homer wants to relay to us that Hector is human. He is not a god or the offspring of a god. He is just like you. He loves and hurts. He’s brave and scared. Being afraid of death is not exclusive any individual. Hector suppresses panic and rallies again. He travels through depression and bargaining, before final acceptance of the orchestrated fate the gods have designed for him. He will take his place in history as the hero of Troy.

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