The Homeric hero lived by strict social and cultural norms that would guide his life at home and on the battlefield. His position as a hero depended upon understanding his place in society and performing in accordance with society 's expectations. He accepted the pattern of a hero, which included a hero 's suffering and a hero 's death. When the hero expressed himself in words, he believed that his thoughts were derived from either society or a god. Nothing came from within. (In his soliloquies, the hero speaks to "his own great-hearted spirit" as though it were another person helping him make the right decisions.)
Communal honor was vital to the Homeric hero 's status; his whole world revolved around his relatio...
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...he threat of others ' judgements, note the actions of both Agamemnon and Achilles during the quarrel in Book I. Both men are at fault. Agamemnon breaks the bond of hero and community by insulting Achilles and claiming Briseis in lieu of Chryseis. Likewise, Achilles ' threat to kill Agamemnon is a social act which, if carried out, would not only show disrespect for his superiors, but would force his Achaian community of soldiers to leave Troy. The disorder that is created by this crisis demands a restoration of order.
Heroes were constantly in fear of disgrace; they feared the judgement of their community. The hero did not distinguish between personal morals and conformity to the morals of the greater society; he concerned himself wholly with acceptance by the people, for if he failed to conform in any way, he risked the anger of his community and, consequently, shame.
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