Essay on The Epic Of The Iliad

Essay on The Epic Of The Iliad

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“To work with the hands or brain, according to our requirements and our capacities to do that which lies before us to do, is more honorable than rank and title” Albert Pike. Wars throughout the ages have changed drastically between their weapons, the reasoning, and the strategies used. But it seems there is a constant from cavemen to present day; the higher the rank and position of power that one is in, generally keeps them from having to do their own dirty work. Throughout The Iliad, the only person that does not seem to pull the “rank” card is Hector, Homer put Hector into The Iliad as a contrast to men such as Zeus and Agamemnon.
Homer starts off his story in the middle of the Trojan War with the point of view on the side of the Greeks, specifically Achilles and Agamemnon. Agamemnon disrespects Apollo by taking a priestess named Khryseis. The only way to satiate Apollo is to give back Khryseis and give a hecatomb to him. When this is told to Agamemnon, he sulks like a child but eventually says to Achilles, “My deputy Aias, Idomeneus, or Prince Odysseus, or you Achilles, fearsome as you are, will make the hecatomb and quiet the Archer” (Homer 16). Even though the men are being killed because of Agamemnon’s actions, he refuses to fix things himself. He wants to send men that are below him to sate Apollo. When Achilles registers what Agamemnon is saying, he replies, “I have seen more action hand to hand in those assaults than you have, but when the time for sharing comes, the greater share is always yours” (Homer 17). Achilles recognizes that Agamemnon is higher than he is, but does not agree that Agamemnon should get the best of everything because he does not do any of his own work; men like Achilles, Odysseus, and others below h...


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... own hands. As a leader, he does not hold himself higher, but as one and the same as all the other men of Ilion.
When compared to men with the character of Agamemnon and Zeus, Hector seems to be the brightly burning other worldly star. He is a deep contrast to both of these men, which is why Homer had Hector play such a big part in The Iliad. Both Zeus and Agamemnon have a reoccurring essence of chutzpah throughout The Iliad; they use their rank and the position of power that they are in to trick or order others into doing their dirty work. Hector goes against this and makes it a point to always be fighting his own battles or fighting by the side of his fellow men. These are the character traits of a true leader. Hector does not hide behind his power or his rank, but rather embraces it. Every man and woman in power could learn a few things from the Prince of Ilion.

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