In this paper I will highlight the life of both of these two leaders of the Greek and Trojans in this epic the Iliad. Also a little will be shed of how Homer portrays the characters deeper then an average thought. I will attempt to show the complexity of his thought process in forming the climax of these two characters coming to battle. Hector, one of the noblest characters painted by heathen antiquity in the epic of the Iliad by Homer. He felt, from the first, a presentiment of the fall of his country, but still persevered in his heroic resistance.
Over the course of the ten-year long Trojan War, the character Odysseus is introduced to those who may read it. This particular man is depicted as the main character, the hero, of this tale. In Homer’s Odyssey, an epic hero is one who embodies the ideals and beliefs of the civilization they live in. This hero is the protagonist of the epic, the technical main character. Though like each individual human being these epic heroes and heroines will also bear there own flaws.
Achilles being killed is the end of Achilles’ two behavior cycles. The behavior cycle is well known by Ancient Greeks who have followed some of their heroes through the stages of the behavior cycle. One of the heroes that they followed was Achilles. Achilles started his behavior cycle in The Iliad, in the first stage, arete, as a great leader and warrior, and finished his final behavior cycle tragically, with his death. People mainly know The Iliad as the story of the Trojan War, but really, it is an unfortunate story of a well known hero who goes through a behavior cycle.
As cultures have evolved, so have the values that they cherish—heroism being one of them. In The Iliad, Achilles and Hector are the two most powerful and fearsome warriors on the battlefield at Troy. Both of them exhibit heroic values, but the two heroes are notably different. When they fight, they give every ounce of what they have to the fight and inspire their men to do the same. The Ancient Greeks for whom this epic was written craved this type of hero, and with Achilles and Hector, they got two.
I cannot do so: I know nothing save to fight bravely in the forefront of the Trojan host and win renown alike for my father and myself. (142) Although we start the story with Hector as a middle aged man with wife and child and many years of experience in a battle, I would like to identify the traits imposed on those of noble birth. Early on in many societies where war was a fundamental component of manhood, there was also politics, communicative skills, networking and influence. From the beginning of their comprehension, nobility is raised to personify, bravery, judgment and leadership. Homer provides us insight into Hectors mindset with the following: Hector answered, “Wife, ... ... middle of paper ... ...aving his wife and child, he’s forced to stand firm and lead his men into glory.
Some epic heroes from several different texts that will be analyzed will be Achilles from The Iliad, Odysseus from The Odyssey, Aeneas from The Aeneid, Socrates from The Republic, Gilgamesh from The Epic of Gilgamesh, Beowulf from Beowulf, and King Arthur from Morte D’Arthur. The first epic hero is the honorable Achilles from the epic poem, The Iliad by Homer. Achilles is described as a proud and brave man in this epic with a great tragic flaw. Of course, any epic hero had this great flaw that eventually brings them down in the end. For Achilles, his tragic flaw would be the fact that he is proud and gets enraged easily; and he lets it consume him.
However, the poem contains deep Greek mythical allusion. It describes the great Greek legends involved in the siege, the events that occurred before the actual war such as meeting of the warriors planning the siege, the reason and the foundation of the battle and the events that happened in the beginning. It further illustrates prophesies of the future such as the death of the Troy (Iliad, pp 87). The Trojan War revolves around the fight between the Trojan and the Myrmidons. They both have warriors who shield the community against the destruction.
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.
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.
The Anglo-Saxon mindset that a hero must be more than a man comes from the Greeks. The Greeks typically meant that their heroes must be demigods, but the Anglo-Saxons took the concept and applied the strength and wisdom to a mortal man. One very important intertwined concept of the epic hero is the hunt for a quest. Epic heroes seek out opportunities and take it upon themselves to find/carry out a quest. Ultimately quests are a huge part in the make-up of an epic hero.