Achilles : An Epic Hero

Decent Essays

Daniel Armour
Professor Kimberly Smith
World Literature
21 February 2017
Achilles: An Epic Hero in an Epic Poem In the battle between Hector and Achilles, there was more on the line than winning the war. Until the end of the poem, it can be argued that both Achilles and Hector fit the role of an epic hero, but there can only be one. The battle represented who would ultimately be determined the epic hero. In Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, Achilles is crafted into an epic hero throughout the poem by the illustration of the qualities of an epic hero: a great warrior, help from the supernatural, an epic flaw, and an epic journey. To be crowned as an epic hero, one must first be a great warrior, and Achilles more than fits this role. From the …show more content…

It is not uncommon for the gods to make appearances in the Iliad, and Achilles is no exception. He receives help from the supernatural on multiple occasions, much like an epic hero would. The most significant divine intervention Achilles received was by Athena, the goddess of wisdom. “Now let’s get tough and fight and not spare Any spears. Either Achilles kills us both…Or he goes down with your spear in his guts,” Athena said to Hector, pretending to be Deiphobus which deceives Hector into fighting Achilles (Puchner Book XXII, 270-272). There is no arguing whether or not Achilles received help from the gods, as he did on multiple occasions. Athena even helps him again in his battle versus Hector by returning his spear after a missed throw. It is the actions like these that craft Achilles into an epic hero, he isn’t asking for the help, but he receives it anyways because it is his destiny to become the epic hero. At points such as these, it seems as if mortal men don’t have much control over their destiny and that the gods are manipulating the outcomes. This can also be seen when Athena prevents Achilles from attack Agamemnon.
Not everybody is perfect, and in Achilles’ case, this is definitely true. Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of the epic hero is having an epic flaw. While Achilles may be near perfect in combat, his personality is most definitely flawed. His pride leads him to overconfidence, his

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