Iliad by Homer

1216 WordsJun 18, 20185 Pages
What is a hero, and what is a true hero? In the Greek society, as perceived in Homer’s Iliad, to be a hero is to be “publicly recognized for one's valour on the battlefield” and to have a prize with it (Sale). In other words, a hero is someone who fights for his own fame and glory. However, the modern perception of a hero is quite different. A hero is someone who do not endeavor to become a hero, but someone who act in admirable ways, often for the better of everyone else. The modern concept of heroism is what defines a true hero. Achilles is a hero in the Iliad, because of the Greek’s perception of heroism. However, Achilles is not a true hero; Hector is the true hero in the Iliad. Morality is the key to real heroism, and Hector is an…show more content…
Morality is something a true hero must have, but behind that true hero, there is also a higher power. The gods and goddesses are essential part of the Iliad. Throughout the text, they interfere and control the war. Both Hector and Achilles are favored by the gods; however, Hector has more respect than Achilles. For example, when Thetis tells Zeus to “lend the Trojans power until the Akhaians...heap new honor upon [Achilles]”, Zeus reveals that she “drive [him] into open war with Hera” (1.583-585 & 596). Zeus was right; the gods and goddesses became involved with the mortal war and creates another war by themselves. For instance, in book 13, Poseidon and Hera meddle in Zeus’ plan to let the Trojans win. Hera seduces Zeus and then make him fall asleep they could continue to help the Greeks (13.4-5). Achilles’ becomes the source of destruction of the unity of the gods and goddesses for telling Zeus to take the Trojan side. Achilles does not care about anybody else but him; surely, he had no respect to the gods. An example would be when Achilles chase Apollo claiming that he would “take it out of [Apollo], if [he] had the power” (22.25). On the other hand, Hector had respect to the gods and goddesses. For instance, Hector refuses to offer Zeus wine “with hands unwashed” for he “ fear to a bespattered man, and bloody may not addressed the lord for gloomy cloud” (6.311-313). In addition, Hector also hopes that the gods would let Troy win despite that

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