Iliad: Civilized vs Barbaric Essay

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Deciphering the Iliad
There are many controversies involving the Iliad, but the most important is about the characters in the Iliad demonstrating barbaric and civilized behavior. Questions about this and the answers can be found by looking at Hektor, Paris and Achilles. Hektor represents the civilized being, always looking for a peaceful resolution to a problem. Achilles refuses to fight and somewhat resembles Paris, the civilized coward. Paris would stay back and relax while the battle raged outside. Hektor was always out on the frontlines doing all he could to help his army. Achilles, angered by Agamemnon, betrays his own side and tells Zeus to bring a plague on the Achaeans, causing them to almost be wiped out. This was a barbarous act.
In the beginning, when Paris is first introduced, one sees him as an average hero, he steps forward and yells a war-cry at the beginning of the epic. As soon as Paris sees Menelaos, he retreats in fear, it would have to take divine intervention to get him back to battle Menelaos, which eventually does happen. The duel begins and Menelaos throws his spear, it clearly is going to sink into Paris but he is shielded by Aphrodite, and taken off to his castle where he waits out the rest of the battle in comfort. He refuses to rejoin the battle and then one realizes what he truly is, a coward. Although Paris is a coward he has refined taste and is a civilized coward. The act of dueling is unrefined, uncivilized and barbarous.

Throughout the Iliad there is corruption, Paris staying back in his home as the
battle rages on, and Achilles does the same. Agamemnon is kidnapping people in the
midst of battle, this causes Achilles to quit and nearly wipe out all of the...

... middle of paper ...

... one of the worst things that happened in the history of the U.S, this represents one of Achilles acts, barbarous and offensive. The UN seems to resemble the acts of Hektor, trying to get Paris to hand over Helen but both refuse and the war rages on. We share very similar things to the ancient Greeks, our civilizations share the lust to create, to harness new technologies. We both share similar sports, we still have the Olympics, we strive for better cultural advancements. There is also corruption among us, recently the Iraqi prisoners were being tortured by us in unnecessary ways, the Greeks going on a rampage at Troy and slaughtering innocent civilians, like we do today. We learn many things from the ancient Greeks, and we have made many cultural, technological and even military achievements from them, the basis of our culture owes a great deal to the Greeks.

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