My essay is about masculinity in the Iliad and how gender roles in turn cause a 'war versus oneself' (the title)

1293 WordsFeb 3, 20046 Pages
The War Versus Oneself During the time period in which the Iliad took place there was a great emphasis put on masculinity. Five specific qualities were required to obtain the venerable title of a hero. Firstly, one must be born unto noble birth. For instance, a man born from the social status of a servant would cause the man to be immediately looked down on for his rankings among his higher status social counterparts. Secondly, the hero must attain strength. Without strength, the man cannot prove himself victorious throughout battles causing him either death or the unthinkable characteristic of humiliation which in turn causes the man more pain than death itself. Thirdly, a man must encompass courage. If a soldier was frightened going…show more content…
Agamemnon sees himself in control and plans to stay in control. Lastly, it is certain that both Achilles and Agamemnon attain power. Agamemnon 's power lies in his control over his country while Achilles power rests in his physical strength and courage. Though Achilles and Agamemnon share similarities and differences both of their personalities strive for the same goal which inevitably is the glory of war. As a result, these characters follow the heroic code which in turn will bring the glory of war. In book nine Achilles is faced with a dilemma between the glory of war and a life of peace and longevity. When Achilles is tempted to take on a life of easiness he knows in his conscious that his fate does not lay there. Thus, the importance of the heroic code tempts him back to his destined position. In book nine Achilles makes it clear despite his anger that he will return. He states, "I will not think of arming for bloody war again, not till the son of wise King Priam, dazzling Hector batters all the way to the Myrmidion ships and shelters, slaughtering Argives, gutting the halls with fire" (9.795-798). It is evident, regardless of Achilles ' anger towards Agamemnon, that he feels the heroic code luring him back where he is most content. Conversely, Agamemnon 's final goal is also to achieve the glory of war regardless of the fact that he will not tempt to risk his life. When riches are obtained it is inevitable

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