Odysseus is one of the most well-known and heroic characters in the history of fiction. Odysseus is a strong, intelligent, and incredibly brave hero in ancient Greek literature and his tales of valor are still well known thousands of years after they were first told. To reinforce the near divine levels Odysseus’ heroism, smaller characters are used as sacrifice to demonstrate the greatness of Odysseus. Where average characters fail, Odysseus not only succeeds but flourishes and further establishes his skill set as a master thinker and hero. In Homer’s The Odyssey, all of the side characters function as foils in some extent to Odysseus.
In ancient Greece, heroes were defined by the heroic code. Four of the main qualities Homeric heroes possess which make up the heroic code to be a speaker of words and a doer of deeds, to stand fast and firm, when it comes to battle, to be the bravest and best of others, and lastly to help one’s friends while harming one’s enemies (“Homeric Ethics” n.d.). The heroic code is interlaced throughout Homer's epics, especially in the Iliad and the Odyssey. In the Iliad, Hector, Prince of Troy, is portrayed as a Greek hero because he participates in each element of the heroic code. In the Odyssey, Odysseus, King of Ithaca, is a hero according to the heroic code because of the many deeds he does on his journey home.
Indeed, The Histories’ book 7 reveals Herodotus’ astonishing and unique view of heroism. During his description of the facts that took place during the war between Persians and Greeks, Herodotus presents the qualities and attributes which, for his understanding, make a real hero. In his book, Herodotus talks about Xerxes, the king of the Persians who led the offense against the Greeks, and Leonidas, the king of the Spartans who fought with honor and bravery against the Persians. According to Herodotus, although Xerxes won the war with big advantage, Leonidas was the real hero of the story because he confronted the enemy with great passion, humility, strength, and bravery. The main conceptualization that Herodotus has about a hero is that it has to be someone who follows the traits of the culture.
His dedication and firm belief in the code of honor is described many times throughout the course of the Iliad. As a reward for heroic traits in battle, prizes were sometimes awarded to victors of war. In Book 1 Achilles receives Chryseis as a prize and a symbol of honor. Heroism had its rewards and its setbacks which ultimately was the backbone of the Illiad in the case of Achilles prize. Hector, arguably the greatest Trojan warrior or even the bravest of the Homeric heroes is very fierce and fights for what he believes is his destiny.
But a question that can be asked is whether or not the characters Odysseys, Achilles and Hector display and embody Homers heroic codes. Achilles was the greatest warrior the Achaean army has ever seen. Throughout the epic he is described and closely compared to a god. In the beginning of the epic it is described that there is much tension between Agamemnon and Achillies after the battle when Agamemenon uses his power at his own advantage. They begin to argue and Achilles finally speaks his mind on how self-centered Agamemnon is after he threatens to take his prize after the return of his.
The True Hero of Homer's The Iliad The Iliad is a story in which many men should be recognized as great war heroes. They all show a tremendous amount of courage to fight in such a barbaric battle. But this paper?s main focus is between two great leaders of opposing sides. Achilles, who represents the Achaians and Hector, who represents the Trojans. Though both show their bravery during many different instances in the poem, it?s quite obvious to the reader who the better of the two is.
Both Achilles and Diomedes easily meet the first requirement, that a hero must have skill on the battlefield. Throughout The Iliad, Homer tells of their incredible (though usually go... ... middle of paper ... ...kill in battle, respect for authority, humility, and coolness under fire. Not many men met all requirements, including Achilles, but they were still viewed as heroes. Between Achilles and Diomedes, Diomedes was the better choice for the title of hero. He was one of the finest Greek soldiers.
Hector is brought into the story and displays through his character what a real hero should be like. Homer makes it clear that Achilles is a man mainly driven by his hunger for glory. Achilles has all the traits of a superhuman from his strength to his incredible ability to fight on the battlefield. Even with these great abilities, it is hard for many readers to perceive him as a hero because of the way he acts. Homer takes this brief time period out of this whole ten-year war just to demonstrate how Achilles cannot control himself when he goes into a rage.
It is also a tale that entertains, and teaches those from all periods of history of honor, courage, sacrifice, and love. The plot of the Iliad is most likely based on legends and stories passed down through Greek tradition. The Greeks believed that their ancestors, such as Achilles and Agamemnon, were born from the gods of Olympus. Several times Homer makes references to people being stronger, faster, or nobler at this time. “…Aeneas seized a great stone, so huge that two men, as men now are, would be unable to lift it, but Aeneas wielded it quite easily.” (The Iliad) This is a clue that it was common for people to have great respect for their ancestors at the time, and Homer reflects this in his poem.
In around 1250 B.C., the story of Achilles evolved, birthing one of the greatest warriors of all time. Achilles was a demigod, son of the sea-nymph Thetis and the mortal Peleus. He was king of the Myrmidons in Thessaly, and a natural wartime hero. This semi-divine was most famous for his position in Homer’s Iliad, gaining many victories during the war at Troy. In some ways, Achilles’ life followed the description of some reoccurring Greek motifs, while other characteristics of him were unique in his own heroic way.