The Importance of Honor and Virtue

Good Essays
The Importance of Honor and Virtue

Two important characteristics for warriors are honor and virtue. Virtue is deemed to be the most important to a warrior's life and it means achieving your greatest potential as a human being. "The reward for great honor and virtue is fame (kleos), which is what guarantees meaning and value to one's life. Dying without fame (akleos) is generally considered a disaster, and the warriors of The Iliad do the most unimaginable deeds to avoid dying in obscurity or infamy. Other components of a warrior's heroic code is courage, loyalty, generosity, mercy, dignity, decency, honor, stoicism and strength."

This is the heroic code of honor that the warriors are taught throughout their life. It is the code that all warriors live and die for to achieve greatness. A warrior is fierce, savage and merciless which attributes to their virtue and honor.

The four codes that a warrior lives by are "always to be the best and bravest and to be distinguished above others. To stand fast and firmly while in battle. To be a speaker of words and a doer of deeds. And the final code is to help one's friends, while harming one's enemy." The stereotypical warrior would be with prestige, which he must defend. A great warrior is goal oriented to the point of being narrow minded with the goal of becoming the best. A warrior's greatest fear is to fail, if a warrior fails he no longer has virtue or honor. A warrior must be ready at any given notice that an enemy wants to publicly humiliate him at anytime. A warrior is responsible for the close friends and family members he may have. The harsher and most barbaric way an enemy is able to slain his foe gives the warrior more prestige within his army. The more ridic...

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...r but a warrior that strived for the very best in everything. With this kind of upbringing is there any other way for him to think of what is important in life? If you are conditioned from birth that this is the most important attribute you can contribute to life than would it be consider barbaric?

Akhilleus was raised to be the best warrior and therefore what started out as the willingness to achieve greatness, evolved into a barbaric way of life, which then turned into survival. Survival of the fittest was to live by the code to be the best and to kill or be killed and to be known as the greatest warrior of all. Akhilleus has willingness to destroy anything or anyone that stood in his way of achieving his goal in life.


Work Cited

Homer. The Iliad. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Doubleday, 1974
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