Pride as a Tragic Flaw or Heroic Trait Essay

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Pride as a Tragic Flaw or Heroic Trait In many modern works, such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, pride is tragic flaw, and the undoing of great heroes. However, in Homer’s The Iliad, It is not clear as to whether pride is a trait to loathe or to love. Substantial arguments can be made on both sides, since both the hero Achilleus who ultimately is a victor, and the hero Hektor, who eventually loses his life both posses a desire for honor and glory. Homer uses these two characters to contrast the effects of pride on the hero and their respective outcomes. Achilleus desire for honor is evident to us in the first chapter of the book. His refusal to fight after being dishonored by Agamemnon…show more content…
Just as Meleagros wouldn’t help his own people until Kleopatra was in danger, Achilleus pride prevents him from helping the Achaians until Patroklos’ death provokes his anger. In both situations, the loved ones had been endangered due to the character’s decision to hold out from fighting. A decision motivated by hurt feelings. After reciting Agamemnon’s speech to Achilleus, Odysseus chooses to change the last words spoken by Agamemnon from asking Achilleus submission to asking to “take pity on all the other Achaians, who…will honor you as a god.” (book 9 302-303) Homer includes this action by Odysseus to show how the dishonor that Achilleus has been brooding on for nine books still exists, and hasn’t changed. It brings to present the reasons that Achilleus still chooses to sit aside from his friends and not fight, though he knows they are struggling with out him. During the battle in Book Ten Achilleus is watching the battle from his ships. However, he still chooses not to fight, and even when he sees a friend who is injured he refuses to come down and see what’s wrong. Instead, he sends his companion Protroklos to try and make up for his holding back. When Achilleus’ actions only hurt those around him, Hektor’s pride, which unlike Achilleus’ is not obvious when he is first introduced. Only books later, do his choices lead to his own
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