Along with these reasons, Odysseus has endured many trials and tribulations over the course of his travels that might convince him to accept the offer of immortality. Despite all of these perfectly sensible reasons for accepting the offer of immortality, Odysseus sticks to his guns and turns the offer down. One of his reasons is that he realizes that an immortal life would be a long and boring one, and Odysseus lives for excitement and glory. This, however, is not his most important reason that Odysseus turns down this offer of immortality. This is presented beginning on line 236 of Book V where Odysseus openly admits that Penelope cannot compare in beauty or stature, but he still pines for her.
By going to war he was signing his own death certificate, but because of his hubris he went and fought. He believed he could cheat fate but because of his lust for future glory and his imminent rage he faced death. As Strauss describes Achilles, “Renown—preeminence—honor—glory…He wanted to be immortal. And he is” (Strauss). Achilles is immortal because he is known throughout the world as the greatest, most ferocious, brave and skilled warrior the world has ever known.
Was he blessed by the gods? I believe that his drive in combat was indeed his pride, but also he was compelled to fight in defiance of the prophecy. Achilles was far too brave a man to hide from danger; he chose instead to face it and to prove himself in every battle. His suicidal tendency is only truly clear after the vengeance for Patroclus has been taken. Achilles embraced the fact he would soon die and focused on defeating the Trojan army.
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.
An Unconventional Hero According to Greek mythology, a hero is one who values glory above life itself and honorably dies in the battle during his prime period of his life. After the gods and demi-god of Greece, heroes probably are the most admirable figures in society. However, Odysseus seems to defy the conventional definition of a hero. He is overwhelmed with tremendous obstacles and difficulty, often beyond that a normal man could endure but he determines to stay alive rather than die young. Achilles states in Book 11 “I’d rather be a hired hand back on earth…, | Than lord it over all these withered dead”(Odyssey 11.510-512).
Because they are equipped wi... ... middle of paper ... ...o longer his own hero, but he is a hero for a society. By doing so, his followers will thirst to keep the hero’s fame alive through their memories and will celebrate the hero’s life long after his passing. Though both Beowulf and Siegfried may be regarded as heroes, Siegfried is clearly the better contender if one were to compare their fame after death. His meaningful relationships have encouraged the loyalty of others to spread his name and avenge his death; whereas, Beowulf’s lack of significant human interactions results in his followers quickly dismissing the death of their fallen hero and allowing other issues to consume them. Had Beowulf known this sooner, perhaps he would have attempted to make more friends?
Discuss the similarities found in Achilles' and Gilgamesh's motives, as well as the differences. Immortality, since the beginning of time, has been the ultimate quest for redemption in humanity. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh clearly portrays the importance of the concept of everlasting life, conquering of humanity's greatest fear: Death. Achilles and Gilgamesh are both on the search for glory, making the search consume their whole existence and ultimately forms a crisis in the men's lives. 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.
Gilgamesh ignored many of these kingly duties and was eager to become heroic and godly. "The young men of Uruk he harries without warrant, Gilgamesh lets no son go free to his father. By day and by night his tyranny grows harsher" (George, Tablet I 67-69). The beginning of the epic depicts his kingship as tyrannical and immoral, which could go without question or complaint unless the gods will it. Although considered great for his many feats such as his great walls and military expeditions, his faults could not be questioned by the commoners, which show a flaw in Mesopotamian kingship.
There was a strong point that Hector is able to underestimate Helen’s seductive ways because of his dedication to his country, his family. It is an obvious reason, why Hector is against the war is because he was fear this war will result in the fall of Troy, which is a feeling and thought that he has that repeats over the course of the Iliad. While in a meantime Achilles is the most outstanding character and the hero of the Iliad. He is the pride of the Greek military. He is the son of Theas.
Glory to them, is more valuable than their families, their lives, and form the very basis for their existence. The invincible Achilles, mightiest of the Achaeans, chooses to withdraw from the fight due to a loss of glory. Glory, the intangible, almost untouchable thing that even the mightiest of heroes sought. The idea of glory is the temptation of man, it leads them in an endless cycle of conflict and struggle, and for only in conflict can glory be found. Achilles willingly lets hundreds die due to an insult to his honor, and a loss of glory.