Glory And Honor : Honor And Glory

1798 Words Oct 5th, 2014 8 Pages
Nearly every Homeric character is involved with glory and honor. Heroes constitute the core of the society from which they originate, and they shape their lives according to honor and glory in all their varied forms. Glory and honor spark a decade-long war that costs the lives of countless men, and direct its progression at every turn. The destruction of Troy is “a thing... whose glory shall perish never (Lattimore, Book II.324)”. The hope for many Greek warriors is the fame that remains beyond physical death; the honor of individuals guided most thoughts and decisions. Glory and honor establish heroes and their identities, and are the foundations for the developments that come to pass in Homer’s Iliad.
The notions of honor and glory are necessary to understanding the incentives of the heroes in the Iliad. Glory is earned by heroic actions, but in particular heroic actions that others witness and praise. Honor is similar to glory, but while glory requires witnesses, honor is defined by the individual, whose personal concept of honor does not necessarily match honor defined by the masses. Honor is gained through heroism in battle, but also through rhetoric, commitment, and other noble characteristics. Having honor and glory allowed heroes to gain influence in their society. An example of such influence occurs during a discussion over a possible retreat from the shores of Troy. Odysseus, a respected fighter from Ithaca, argues that it is “disgraceful to wait long and at the…
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