Achilles' Honor in Homer's Iliad Essay

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Achilles' Honor in Homer's Iliad

The Greeks placed great importance on personal honor. Why is this? Is it because to them man I nothing without honor. Or is it that the honor is more important than the man? "Honor to the Greeks is something that is won by a man's prowess, his ability to fight and be victorious on the battle field"(Schein 62). This is just one example of how honor is obtained. A second method of gaining honor is to be a great orator, one must posses the ability to speak in the assembly and express his ideas eloquently, and persuasively to the gathered body. A third way of achieving personal honor is to demonstrate athletic ability.

Achilles would be considered one of the latter; he is a proud and
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Never, when the Achaians sock some well founded citadel of the Trojans, do I have a prize that is equal to your prize?(Homer 1.161). "I am minded no longer to stay here dishonored and pile up you wealth and luxury.?(Homer 1.171).

In my understanding this symbolizes a significant turning point in Achilles point of view when it comes to honor, status, power and glory and puts him on a path toward a downward spiral, which ultimately leads him to doubt and question his personal beliefs on power, glory, status and honor. "Faith is the same for the man who holds back, the same if he fights hard we are all held in a single honor the brave with the weaklings. A man dies still if he has done nothing, as one who has done much. Nothing is won for me now that my heart has gone through his afflictions in forever setting my life on the hazard of battle?(Homer 9.318.206).

Achilles views as demonstrated before, clearly shows the change that has taken place in him, where once he would leaped at an opportunity to battle for glory and honor, now he shows reservation. Achilles is reluctant to risk his life on a fool's errand, for glory and honor. He is disenchanted about honor and all life effort to gain honor no matter how great it might be. He felt they were nothing but the personal honor and glory of others. But, of course, Achilles never actually leaves, although he threatens
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