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Heoes of the Iliad and the Odyssey

Powerful Essays
“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”
― Sophocles, Antigone
Honor is a major component of ancient Greek culture, which weaves its way through out the great epics of the time. It is perhaps the single most important entity to some of the most renowned heroes. However, the desire for honor seems to have the power to lead such famous men into the clutches of “excessive pride”, or hubris (Oxford Dictionaries.com). As a result, choices tend motivated by the idea of increasing not only their honor, but soothing their insulted pride. Their actions tend to be chosen because of their honor was insulted, which as a result has wounded their pride, and it seems necessary to seek revenge. These choices sometimes lead to devastating consequences and retribution by the gods and other men. The two, honor and pride are so intertwined with one another, that it can be hard to distinguish between the two. However, heroic mortal men like Achilles and Odysseus, whose stories are found within The Iliad and The Odyssey, experience and are often consumed by the damming vice of pride, or hubris, and therefore are subjected to the ramifications that come with their decisions.
In order to distinguish between the actions done through honor, or pride, it is necessary to set a standard definition of the two. According to the online Oxford dictionary, pride is “a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements…or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired” (Oxford Dictionaries.com). Pride is often categorized as a vice, something that is negatively represented with unjust morals. That is why it is categorized as one...

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...l result of their accomplishments, but some take it further until it becomes excessive. This hubris affects their lives over and over again. However, characters like Achilles, Ajax and Odysseus continue to make the choices to defend their sense of honor that become unjust and produce negative aftereffects. Like Sophocles says: “All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”

Works Cited

Homer. The Iliad. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin Group, 1990. Print.
Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin Group, 1996. Print
“honor.” Oxford Dictionaries.com. Oxford Dictionaries, 2014. Web. 1 March 2014.
“hubris.” Oxford Dictionaries.com. Oxford Dictionaries, 2013. Web. 1 March 2014.
“pride.” Oxford Dictionaries.com. Oxford Dictionaries, 2013. Web. 1 March 2014.
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