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Importance Of War In The Iliad

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In Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad war is the main focus point. Throughout the poem the reader sees the good as well as the bad sides of war. How war effects the warrior himself, his family life and the effects it causes the countries battling, are all aspects that are described in this poem. The Iliad portrays that was is an almost inevitable part of human life and war is the ultimate test of a man’s strength. Oriana Fallaci, a famous Italian journalist once said “Alas, nothing reveals man the way war does. Nothing so accentuates in him the beauty, and the ugliness, the intelligence and foolishness, the brutishness and humanity, the courage and cowardice, the enigma.” During The Iliad, all these descriptions about war are clearly displayed…show more content…
Never wanting to give up and giving your all were key components of life that the warriors lived by. When Hector dies in Book XVIII, the values and characteristics that he displays are nobility, self-respect and courage. Dying in the duel is shown to be a hero’s death and the best way for a warrior to die. The final battle between Achilles and Hectors is not only a battle between two heroes but of two heroic values. Hector is motivated by the fact that he wants to kill Achilles because he has killed multiple members of his family. “My doom has come upon me; let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter (The Iliad, Book XVIII, Line 483).” This showed how death was valued and how the warriors, even after death were looked upon as heroes. Their courage and nobility were glorified even after…show more content…
War can also bring out the worst in men. The cruelty of the poem dehumanizes many of the men. The cruelty can be displayed in the actual battling and fighting in war but also in the characteristics of the warriors. The war, at times can bring out ugliness due to the competitive factor warriors are faced with due to the battles. In Book I, Agamemnon states, “Forever quarreling is dear to your heart, and wars and battles; and if you are very strong indeed, that is a god’s gift (The Iliad, Book I, Line 177-178).” In this statement Agamemnon is referring to Achilles and his life as a warrior. Agamemnon believes that he Achilles is in no way a better warrior than him. Just because Achilles has received helped from a God still does not mean he has that any advantages over
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