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
Homer's two central heroes, Odysseus and Achilles, are in many ways differing manifestations of the same themes. While Achilles' character is almost utterly consistent in his rage, pride, and near divinity, Odysseus' character is difficult to pin down to a single moral; though perhaps more human than Achilles, he remains more difficult to understand. Nevertheless, both heroes are defined not by their appearances, nor by the impressions they leave upon the minds of those around them, nor even so much by the words they speak, but almost entirely by their actions. Action is what drives the plot of both the Iliad and the Odyssey, and action is what holds the characters together. In this respect, the theme of humanity
A hero isn’t shaped by his strengths but by the values he possesses. Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, reveals the moral and ethical constitution of the ancient Greeks. Over time, certain cultures have grown to value a number of human characteristics. Those who acquire such values become respected heroes. After the fall of Troy, the protagonist of the epic, Odysseus, set sail for his home, Ithaca, where his faithful wife and son were waiting for him. Over the course of his journey, Odysseus faced some of the most ferocious opponents known to the Greeks. Even through this formidable journey, Odysseus and his family have stayed true to the diverse aspects of the ancient Greeks. The Odyssey exemplifies the human ideals of hospitality, loyalty and
By comparing himself to the Greek hero Achilles before the jury in Plato’s Apology, Socrates attempts to portray himself as a hero of equal merit to Achilles and others of similar standing. By selecting the greatest of the Classical Greeks to compare and contrast himself to in his argument, Socrates surreptitiously urges his audience to view him as being of the same caliber as Achilles. This not only authenticates Socrates’ claims, but also exhibits his disconnect from earlier forms of thought. Essentially, Socrates attempts to display himself in the same light as his predecessor Achilles through their shared aspiration to do what they deem to be right in addition to their
Loyalty to family, community, and the gods is an important quality in the lives of ancient Greek citizens. These qualities are clear demonstrated in The Odyssey through Penelope, Telemakhos, and Odysseus.
“The world is full of wonders, but nothing is more wonderful than man.” This quote shows that the Greeks valued themselves, but also their intellect in which they know that the world about them is great. The Greeks valued beauty, art, intellect, honor, and truth; the list is long. Some of these values are shown through the story of the Odyssey, which tells of the adventures of Odysseus and his family. In order to understand Greek values and how they are portrayed in Greek society, one must examine how some values are portrayed in the Odyssey: hospitality, intellect, and beauty.
These two men share many characteristics, but one of their most important ones is their great leadership. Odysseus has led his men since the start of the Trojan War, and even though he has led different groups of men, they all listen to and respect him. He portrays this leadership throughout the entirety of The Odyssey, but it is shown most clearly when he is ordering his men to keep going even though
Odysseus is a courageous leader because he saves his crew in combat many times. One way Odysseus shows he is a courageous leader is by proving his worth in combat. Odysseus is obviously a good fighter because he survived the Trojan War, if he had not have been a
Who is the ideal Greek man? It can be argued that through the illustration Homer weaves throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus's character traits cast a lens as a prime example of a man in ancient Greek society. He appears to be brave, intelligent, well-spoken, and clever. Much of his knowledge is discovered by his travels, absorbing the local culture around him and using it as a guide. Aristocratic and a warrior. Perhaps the best warrior of all time. It is the Iliad which presents these attributes initially. The commander of the Greek army, Agamemnon, calls on Odysseus for assignments frequently, ones that required someone cunning and brilliant. He sends Odysseus off to ask Achilles if he would be willing to return the army and has Diomedes come along also into the Trojan camp to gain more information. Odysseus must act quickly on his feet impulsively in order to not be caught. Interestingly enough, despite how valiant he can be during battle, it is in the Odyssey in which it becomes clear how Odysseus can be seduced and enchanted by women. In the Odyssey, myriad examples of such temptation reflect the importance of gender and the role of women. His specific interactions make this clear, creating an interesting duality between the power of men and women as illustrated throughout the poem.
In the same way that Greek society valued rugged individualism rather than the Roman sense of community, so did Achilles and Odysseus values differ from those of Aeneas'. The Homeric heroes had more self-centered values and their goals were less weighty than Aeneas'. The individualism of Achilles and Odysseus is apparent primarily in their battle scenes. While Achilles and
Achilles and Odysseus are quite different in the way they view combat and take down their enemies. Achilles seems to rely on his physical prowess, often charging in headfirst into battle using surprise and brute force to overpower his opponent whereas Odysseus has a tendency to use his intelligence and cunning nature in both the battlefield and politics as he stealthily plans the demise of his unsuspecting opponent. “Gnashing his teeth with rage, Achilles leaped from his chariot, made for his enemy, and lunged out at him with his sword” (341). Even when faced with a seemingly invincible assailant, Achilles uses his anger and sheer power to overtake Cycnus and impulsively attacks his unblemished skin in the hopes to end his life. It is Achilles’ agile and finesse in battle that has led to many victories for him. Even though the reasoning for his actions are more simplistic and even quite animalistic in some scenarios, it is this godlike strength and vicious temper that makes him the physical embodiment of a vengeful hero and in the Greeks stories he possesses all of the physical traits a hero should exemplify. “For now Odysseus began to boil with envy and thought up a despicable plan to end his rival” (342). Odysseus is quick and decisive in his actions but he relies on his sly nature to defeat and overwhelm his opponent in battle. Odysseus is valued for his wisdom and fair counsel, he has experience in the real world and this shows in the way he manipulates and even plays
By looking at the epic The Odyssey by Homer, there are a lot of contacts between human and immoral, the relationship between Athena and Odysseus, which make me interesting, also this is important for the story. The relationship between Athena and Odysseus is the key for the story, because Odysseus had received a lot of help from Athena, their relationship is the reason to explain why would an immortal Athena who never interesting or attracted by any male either mortal or immortal, but only a human male, Odysseus, and helps Odysseus in either direct and indirect ways to get back home and take average to all the suitor in order for Odysseus to get back his family and his land.
In the Odyssey, Odysseus is considered the heroic figure. Throughout both the Iliad and the Odyssey, Odysseus showed many acts of bravery, maybe more than Achilles showed. Both men, in the
The Trojan War was more than a series of battles between opposing forces, it was the climax of an age of heroes. The retrieval of Helen brought together many of the mythological characters of that time onto a single stage. Of the thousands of brave men who fought at Ilion, two men stood above the masses, sharing the title of hero. They were born in the line of those on Mt. Olympus, favored by the gods. Excelling in courage and skill, adored by those who followed them into battle, the actions of Achilles and Odysseus achieved a high place in Greek mythology. Through analysis we see that Odysseus and Achilles were close variations upon the same theme.
Names and relationships can be a very powerful tool in any medium, they can represent values or teach us priceless lessons. But the names and moreover relationship that I will be focusing on today are that of Achilles of Greece and King Priam of Troy, and their relationship through a film medium, in the adaptation of Troy directed by Wolfgang Petersen.