Analysis Of Homer 's The Iliad

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“As is the generation of leaves, so is that of humanity. The wind scatters the leaves on the ground, but the live timber burgeons with leaves again in the season of spring returning. So one generation of men will grow while another dies” (6.146-50)

Homer in the Iliad tells of generation after generation fighting to bring glory and honor to not only themselves, but their families. Generations are connected by men who have fought before and men who have yet to fight. Diomedes, after being asked of his lineage, illustrates generations after generations coming and going by comparing them to leaves; one generation rises up while another blows away in the wind. He recognizes both the generations that have come before him and the ones that will come after him. The image is one of hope and optimism. He knows his place in his lineage. In the Iliad, Homer depicts Hektor as this type of warrior. However, as the epic progresses, Hektor’s death causes a break in the generation of leaves for both future and present generations. Future generations will no longer be as Hektor’s death causes a break in the string of generations connected to him. Also, Hektor’s death causes people of this generation, such as Andromache, to look presently at the isolation and despair caused by Hektor’s death. By the end of the Iliad, the generations of leaves show not a sense of continuity but rather one of discontinuity. Hektor embodies beautifully a warrior interconnected in the generations of leaves.
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