From his superhuman strength in battle to his overwhelmingly influential emotions, Achilles is essentially a god, except for one vital quality: he is mortal. Achilles is constantly anticipating his own death, for he knows he must choose between two fates: “My mother Thetis ... / Tells me two fates sweep me on to my death. / If I stay here and fight, I’ll never return home, / But my glory will be undying forever. / If I return home to my dear fatherland / My glory is lost but my life will be long” (9.423,424-28). Not only is Achilles mortal, but he is forced to perpetually dwell on his own mortality and try to make sense of it, since he is ultimately granted the power to choose his own death.
Achilles and other mortals lack the vital characteristic (which Diomedes has) that makes the heart of what a model mortal is: control. Diomedes establishes himself as the model mortal through the honor gained by following the heroic code.He rises above the Greek's greatest fighter, Achilles, and the Achean's king, Agamemnon.Achilles rage will ultimately cause his death and Agamemnon selfishness dishonors him.In the long run, Diomedes, seeming incomparable to Hector or Achilles, will surpass these mortals to become the model mortal because of his adherence to the heroic code. Works Cited Homer. Books 1-6 to The Iliad. Trans.
The favoritism of Zeus allows Hector and the Trojan army to dismantle the Greek forces and consequently make significant progress in the war, until Hector’s helmet is hit by a spear and causes concern, almost causing a retreat. The imbalanced relationship of Zeus and Hera result in a Greek victory because of Hera’s ploys for Trojan failure. The corruption among the Gods, particularly Aphrodite, causes many mortals to be influenced either positively or negatively while fighting. Homer’s vision when creating this epic work was to praise the warriors over the Gods so he would change the common conception of the immortals in ancient Greece.
Zeus’s bias is prevalent throughout the poem; specifically, he is “bent on wiping out the Argives, down to the last man,” (Homer 12: 81-82). Just like mortals such as Agamemnon and Achilles view each other with suspicion and intolerance, the gods experience identical emotions of wariness, anger, and irritation. This human-like behavior is not restricted to Zeus. Later in the text, Hera lies to Aphrodite to use her powers to manipulate her own husband Zeus. If one looks at Hera as a heavenly entity, her reaction may not make sense, but when it is viewed as a manifestation of human emotion, it become almost reasonable.
Because Patroclus stepped up and took over Achilles position, dying for Achilles revealed the true hero in Patroclus. He begged “for his own death and brutal doom” (16.55). Patroclus was so determined to take upon Achilles responsibility he lost sight of his own life. His bravery caught up with his confidence; every war contains losses and sacrifices. Homer clearly has a redundant pattern of characters seeking glory no matter the cost.
They always interfere with the lives of the humans. Gilgamesh realizes the power of the gods when his friend, Enkidu dies and he hunts for the secret of an eternal life. He is somewhat jealous that the gods are the only ones who will live on forever. “What interests me, to drink from the well of immortality, which means to make the dead rise from their graves,” 5 Pg 74 shows the desires of Gilgamesh of becoming immortal. The gods are controlling the humans in one way, which leads to an imbalance in society.
Thus, the gods become the direct cause for the demise of many warriors with a serious significance being placed on an honorable and glorified death. Leaving fate as something rather engineered by the gods themselves. In Robert C. Solomon’s article “On Fate and Fatalism,” he refers to fate in literature as a way to place significance on the overall ending or resolution, as if no other possible reality could have occurred. More specifically, the Iliad shows the “will of Zeus” (... ... middle of paper ... ...f glory “Thus it is with good reason that the Iliad speaks of death as coming at ‘the right time’” (Solomon 449) Just like Achilles chose to die young for the glory and Hector knowing the fight between Achilles and him was his time to fight for his honor. In conclusion, Homer’s the Iliad shows denial of fate being something that is enforced by the gods and as an unchangeable path to be taken by humans.
War is said to bring out both the best and the worst in those involved: bravery, heroism, and sacrifice intermingle with cowardice, savagery, and greed. In Homer’s Iliad, the audience gets more than a taste of both, yet the poet puts the focus on the good in the warriors by using the gods as scapegoats for the folly of man. From the audience’s perspective, the removal of human blame takes the emphasis off of the questionable motivation and execution of this decade-long conflict, and places it on the struggles and sacrifices of the soldiers themselves, as it should be.
Gilgamesh’s desire to kill Humbaba, his search for glory and immortality and Achilles’ insistence in participating into the war although there is a huge risk of death, are good examples for these character’s crises. In a sense, they are both seeking forms of immortality and enjoy violence and putting themselves in the face of death. Achilles and Gilgamesh, both being part divine, are similar in rage and egomania, however they different in the motives of what drives them to their tragic behaviors. Gilgamesh and Achilles are considered classical heroes because both of them are part divine. Gilgamesh was born to Lugalbanda, earlier king of Uruk and Ninsun, a goddess called the wild cow, and so became, "I am king!
Achilles the great warrior of the Greeks takes countless lives of worthy warriors such as Hector and leads the Greeks to the Trojan wall (Achilles). Achilles knows of a prophecy that if he joins battle he will die a glorious death but if Achilles withdraws from battle he will live to be an old man and die an inglorious death. Achilles faces this situation and decides after remaining at the ships for a large portion of the Trojan War to join battle to avenge his fallen mentor and decides a glorious death with worth more than a long life. Hector, who opposes the Greek warriors in the Trojan War, made leader of the army of Troy and leads his men in a war that does not pertain to him or any of his interest he merely does it out of pride and love for his family, his brother Paris takes fully responsibility for the war and should be leading. Hector shows his courage and strength by leading his Trojan army against the feared Greeks and by killing Patroclus, Achilles mentor, during battle while Patroclus wore god made armor (litcharts).