Rhetorical Analysis Of Homer 's The Iliad, The Mortal And Semi Mortal Men

Rhetorical Analysis Of Homer 's The Iliad, The Mortal And Semi Mortal Men

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Men fighting at war are a common depiction of how battles are fought in most cultures. As with Homer’s The Iliad, the mortal and semi-mortal men are combat rated based on their personification of masculinity. Homer sets this up through various literary tropes which range from the characterization of heroes or major figures in the poem, rousing speeches, and analogies. All of these tropes function using masculinity as a way to determine who fights best or at all in some cases. Homer’s gendered narrative aids in the development of masculinity being the deciphering tool which designates shame and glory in the midst of warfare. Masculinity aids in contextualizing the character’s actions as seen through the Greeks perspective as his writing are a reflection of the cultural norms of ancient Greece.
Homer’s The Iliad, heroism and glorification of war with masculine ideals for both the Achaians and the Trojans. This can be seen by either army as Homer sets up a discourse that permeates masculinity through his elaboration of combat or a call to arms. This can be seen on an individual character basis by the heroes and their dialog as it contextualizes warfare using masculinity as a means to characterize a hero. The Homer provides context as to how the Greeks view masculinity when Agamemnon says:
Be men now, dear friends, and take up the heart of courage, and have consideration for each other in the strong encounters, since more come through alive when men consider each other,
and there is no glory when they give way, nor warcraft either (Homer 160).
After giving this short heroic speech, Agamemnon throws a spear and kills the honored Trojan soldier, Deikoon. Agamemnon’s speech is meant to rouse the Achaians to fight together and...


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...alog of the character, Hektor, and his narration as a whole. These ideas are seen through both the poems subtext and close examination of Homer’s word choices which either subtly allude or explicitly imply that how masculine a character acts is a direct reference to how he fights and their perceived glory. Similarly, femininity is viewed as the antithesis of masculinity in the context of fighting and it’s often associated with cowardice or weakness. Ultimately, this reflects Greek culture as the rousing speeches given by heroes, inspires the troops to fight better because Agamemnon specifies that men embody a fighting spirit which permeates into the rest of The Iliad. Homer’s systematic use masculinity as a conduit for interpretation a character aids in reading The Iliad as a historical context for Greek culture and how we are to perceive the actions of a character.

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