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Achilles Vs Odysseus

Decent Essays
ODYSSEUS VS. ACHILLES: WHO IS THE BETTER MAN?
When considering the question Who is the better man? It is necessary to find the similarities that exist between the two men who are being compared, (i.e. Odysseus and Achilles) of which there are mainly three. The first one being that they are both Greek men, the second one being that they are both heroes, and the third one being that they are both leaders. Odysseus is the better man because he better fits the role of an Ancient Greek man, he better fits the role of a hero, and he better fits the role of a leader.
In Ancient Greece, the concept of Arete (moral virtue) was highly valued, “Arete was the central ideal of all Greek culture.”1 Arete was considered one of the key elements that an Ancient Greek man (especially a nobleman or a hero) should possess, it was the ability to “…make his hands keep his head against enemies, monsters, and dangers of all kinds, and to come out victorious.”2 To use a paraphrastic definition of moral virtue according to Aristotle in Book 2 of the Nicomachean Ethics, moral virtue is the ability to inherently know that which is right from that which is wrong. Odysseus showed that he possessed the quality of Arete throughout The Odyssey, the prime examples of which being in his motivations for returning home. Firstly, the great love he bore for his wife, Penelope, and his son, Telemachus, and secondly, the duty which he felt to his people as their ruler. Both the idea of family and the great
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