HEROISM IN THE ILIAD Essay

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In the Iliad there are many characters that could be considered heroic. But the two main characters that stand out as heroes to me are swift-footed Achilles and flashing-helmet Hector. Numerous times throughout the epic they display qualities and traits that are unsurpassed by anyone on their side. Many times throughout the epic Achilles and Hector are tested for their strength, and will to win in battle, which for both warriors always ends up positive because they always win their battles. Although both fighters are among the elite status in the armies, they each show human and god-like qualities that help them be as a fierce and feared as possible. As soon as we are exposed to Achilles in battle, it is obvious why he is the hero of the…show more content…
“Would to god you could linger by your ships without a grief in the world, without a torment! Doomed to a short life, you have so little time.” (Homer book 1 line 496)
All of these facts add up to Achilles having a clear-cut advantage over the opposition. Another smaller reason for Achilles heroism is his sense of responsibility. A prime example of that is when Patroclus dies. He takes immediate responsibility for Patroclus’ death, and instantly vows to take revenge on Hector for it. When you put all these details together it adds up to the heroism of Achilles throughout the entire epic. The other hero of The Iliad is Hector. He is still a major hero of the story but for much different reasons. Unlike Achilles he is not invincible or half-god. Hector is a hero because of his intangible characteristics that propel him to success. For his country, Hector represents qualities like honor, duty, and pride. Another reason for Hectors heroism is his devotion and loyalty to whatever cause he is fighting for. Unlike his brother Paris, who takes a break from war in the middle, Hector does not stop fighting until there is no more to be fought about.
“Come, now for attack! We’ll set all this to rights, someday, if Zeus will ever let us raise the winebowl of freedom high in our halls, high to the gods of cloud and sky who live forever-once we drive these Argives geared for battle
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