Essay on Diomedes, the True Hero of Homer’s Iliad

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Diomedes, the True Hero of The Iliad In The Iliad, written in a 3rd person omniscient point of view, Homer gives a very serious account of the tenth and last year of the Trojan War. It was in Homer's account that the very idea of becoming a legendary hero reached its pinnacle; the choice of the better hero was not decided on the events they participated in, but rather by their characteristics. The ancient Greeks had strict criteria for individuals to follow if they were to be seen as heroes. Above all, a man needed to be a skilled warrior, but this was not the only requirement. To be a hero, a warrior had to respect authority, both governmental and religious. The Greeks gave heroes no room for pride. These men were to be modest,…show more content…
However, this fight may have never happened if Athena had not disguised herself as one of Hector's brothers and convinced him to fight (260). That was not enough though, as Athena then helped Achilles win the fight (260-261). This seems to be the case with all of Achilles' battles. A god, goddess, or gods help him in battle by strengthening and encouraging him and his men, or they rally a Trojan army into entering a futile final battle. Diomedes is also guilty of receiving help from the gods. After praying for Athena's aid, Diomedes proceeds to not only slay Pandaros (who wounded him earlier) and many other Trojans, but also wound Aeneas in his hip and his mother Aphrodite in her hand (60-64). Later on in the same battle, Diomedes thrusts his spear through the belly of Ares, also done with the help of Athena (73). Another example of Diomedes skill comes when he and Odysseus spy on the Trojan camp. Diomedes goes ahead of Odysseus and strikes down so many Trojans that the ground was reddened with blood (124). Even before this, Diomedes prayed again to Athena for help. It seems no Greek warrior could fight their own battles; instead, they requested help from the gods. This fact makes it difficult to discern the better fighter between Achilles and Diomedes, but the common choice would probably be Achilles because of his legendary status and he was the son of an immortal.

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