The Tragic Hero Of Homer 's The Iliad Essay

The Tragic Hero Of Homer 's The Iliad Essay

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There may be no greater fact known than that of human beings seeking a purpose in this life. Are we here simply because of our parents meeting or are we here because God ordained it for some divine reason unfathomable by yourself, but seen by those in your community? What would the world be if Gandhi had not examined himself in his writings? Ultimately we will never know the consequences of unexamined lives because it is simply human nature to seek a purpose, no matter the situation you are born into; meaning, rather King or citizen we all seek to examine our lives to find reason. This brings us to Achilles, the main hero of Homer’s The Iliad and the life that he eventually found a purpose in. This essay will seek to explore through Socrates quotation, “The unexamined life is not wroth living” how Achilles longing for a purpose affected the Achaean community at large both militarily and politically.
At the tales open we see the brave warrior Achilles arguing with Agamemnon, the ruler of the Achaean army, over the capture of two maidens, Chryseis and Briseis. The problem with their capture is that they are (in these times considered) more trouble than they are worth. The Goddess Apollo hears the pleas of Chryseis’ father and sends a plague upon the Greek camp. This is where the story unfolds, in just the first few sentences of the tale. Agamemnon decides to return Chryseis, who he has taken as his prize, to stop the plague, but in return he expects Achilles to give up Briseis so that he can be satisfied. “Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles, murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses” Through this first line of prose we can see that the rage of a man can be responsible for bringing down an enti...


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...n to stop teaching. Socrates believes that with knowledge humans were not worth anymore than animals. That is not the way human life should be experienced. Humans have an obligation to examine their lives if they wish to have a good one. Socrates argues that the only way to have a good life is through self-knowledge and awareness. By choosing the death over giving up Socrates shows us that with the examined life we really are better off dead.
Maybe you will never influence the world the way Gandhi or Martin Luther did, but that does not make self exploration any less important. It is the duty of citizens to challenge the values of their communities the way Achilles did for the Achaeans. Undoubtedly, he was not the only one asking why an empire was at war over one woman. No matter what the cost of self-exploration, the task is the most important one of a lifetime.

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