What does it take to consider someone a hero? During Greek and Roman antiquity a hero could be defined as a strong, virtuous man who can bravely lead others. In this time period, earning honor for yourself, your family, and your city-state was the most important for a man to achieve. Achilles of Homer’s epic poem Iliad and Aeneas of Virgil’s Aeneid are depicted to be great heroes, although they can only achieve their goals with the assistance of divine intervention. Looking at the relationship between “heroes” and the gods, Achilles and Aeneas could not have succeeded without help from the gods, leading them toward the inevitable fate the gods wanted for them. Homer describes Achilles to be the fiercest trooper in battle due to his …show more content…
According to the ancient Greek definition of heroism, turning your back on your city-state when they are in dire need of your help is the exact opposite. In turn, he dishonors his name by knowingly not participating in the war, and wasting the gift of swift feet from his mother and the gods. Overall, Achilles proves himself to be the opposite of a hero throughout the epic. Interference from the gods and the works of fate also play a role in Achilles claim to fame. Homer acknowledges the gods’ superior power of “Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls of heroes into Hades’ dark, and left their bodies to rot as feasts for dogs and birds, as Zeus’ will was done” (Homer 1) to begin the epic. In this quote Homer depicts Zeus in control of which soldiers die and sending them off to Hades. Homer confirms that the fate of the warriors is out of their hands, and it ultimately decided by the gods. Although the citizens have control over their actions, the gods use their power to sway the actions of them, and keep them on course with what they want to happen. The gods and goddesses even go as far as to wage and trade the lives of their beloved people in order to keep their desired fate in motion. Virgil portrays Aeneas as the
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In my understanding this symbolizes a significant turning point in Achilles point of view when it comes to honor, status, power and glory and puts him on a path toward a downward spiral, which ultimately leads him to doubt and question his personal beliefs on power, glory, status and honor. "Faith is the same for the man who holds back, the same if he fights hard we are all held in a single honor the brave with the weaklings. A man dies still if he has done nothing, as one who has done much. Nothing is won for me now that my heart has gone through his afflictions in forever setting my life on the hazard of battle?(Homer 9.318.206).
Many think being a hero is having super powers, but on the contrary it's more than that. A hero is one who is distinguished for their courage and bravery, and looked upon for their great deeds. A hero like this is not just found in modern society today, but in mythology as well. In the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus earns the title of a true hero by conveying many qualities such as: determination, courage and leadership.
From the first pages of Homer’s The Iliad, Achilles is portrayed as vengeful, proud, and petty. As the book progresses, the image of Achilles as a spiteful child is sharpened dramatically. Towards the end of the epic; however, Achilles begins to exhibit qualities that are considered heroic even in today’s society. Once his loyal and trusted friend Patroclus dies, Achilles undergoes a drastic change in character. When he confronts the true horror of death, Achilles puts aside his immature
The Ancient Greeks idealized and worshiped their heroes, this is portrayed in Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad. To become a hero in ancient Greece, one would have to live and die in pursuit of glory and honor. Both Achilles and Hector seek victory in battle to become the “true hero.” Although both characters possess many hero-like qualities, Hector proved to be the genuine hero.
In ancient Rome and ancient Greece, myths were an oral tradition of storytelling that served to answer two primary purposes. The first role was to create stories that responded to unanswerable questions such as “Why is there thunder?” and the second function of myths, about gods, goddesses, monsters, and heroes, was to give structure to their society and culture in psychological manifestations. In addition, the gods and prophecies served as a reminder to the characters that they don’t ultimately have any control over their lives. This epic poem by Homer is not just a simple story of an argument between Achilles and Agamemnon or the well-known story of the war but also has a psychological theme incorporating anger, especially Achilles’ as
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself or someone who is doubtless. Odysseus shows himself as a heroic figure in the Odyssey. He is known for his loyalty towards his family and a mighty heroic Soldier helping the Greeks fight in the horrific Trojan War. Heroes come in many ways there are the loyal Heroes who are always honest, The Majestic Heroes who put everyone above themselves, and last but not least the Brave and the strong Heroes were there obstacles don't get to them easily.
A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles- Christopher Reeve. The definition of hero is almost always different depending on who you ask. In ancient Greek society, the definition of a hero could also be taken in many different ways. Such as, a hero could be someone who is good with words, brave, a great warrior, physically and emotionally strong, or even someone who has gone through great suffering.
As soon as we are exposed to Achilles in battle, it is obvious why he is the hero of the Achaeans. He is very devoted, and even the heat of battle does not faze him, as he mows down rows and rows of his opponents. His devotion in battle is suitably shown when he is talking of battle:
Referring to the first claim once again, Achilles’ overall disdain towards Agamemnon shows how unheroic characters tend to be the opposite, solidifying the idea that a hero should be contributing with their hard work to gain honor. Achilles describes Agamemnon’s contribution to the war to be minimal, seeing the Lord of Men “skulking behind the lines, /safe in his fast ships” (Il.9.402-03; Fagles 262). While Agamemnon’s contribution is meek, he is the one who would “take it all, /[parceling] out some scraps but [keeping] the lion’s share” (Il.9.403-04; Fagles 262),
A hero is something that society has formed an idea about the characteristic it should posses from history. Through the stories told from the past a hero is developed through their qualities and characteristics they value. When one views a hero from a different culture they can form an opinion on what matters to that culture. One will notice that through all these different heroes that they all share common features. In ancient Hebrew culture Moses represents a hero and for ancient Greek culture Odysseus represents heroic figures.
Throughout the history of epic literature, heroes have been an integral part of many different cultures. Some of these heroes are fierce and powerful, renowned for their skill in battle, while some others and clever and cunning, able to talk their way out of any difficult situation. These traits usually emphasize the values of the cultural from which the hero came, and depending on the culture,traits viewed as heroic may drastically differ. Although there exists a plethora of traits any one hero may have, there are three core characteristic that, in my opinion, a hero must have to be considered a hero: the courage to face hardships, the willingness to make major self-sacrifices for the benefit of others, and most importantly, the dedication to do what it takes to reach their goal.
Thetis seems to believe that Achilles is destined for a short, unhappy life. However, Achilles is given a choice within the course of the story that could have saved him from his horrible fate. He has the choice to go home, or stay and fight. He says,
Achilles has been considered the greatest hero of the Greeks in the Iliad for numerous valid reasons. Similarly, Achilles not only stays humble, but extremely courageous. Waiting patiently for Hector, Achilles says, “No man so long as I am alive above Earth… and see daylight shall lay the weight even if you mean Agamemnon.” (1.88-90) In this statement, Achilles says that no one should ever have power over him. “So, must one be called of no account and a coward if I must carry out every order you may happen to give me….” (6.293-303) Clearly, he fears no one and does not understand the meaning of failure. Achilles constantly acts as man of fierce strength and courage.
Not everybody is perfect, and in Achilles’ case, this is definitely true. Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of the epic hero is having an epic flaw. While Achilles may be near perfect in combat, his personality is most definitely flawed. His pride leads him to overconfidence, his
“Until now we used to say that the Greeks fight like Heros. Now we say: The Heroes fight like Greeks” (Winston Churchill). Western Civilization have been focused and built on the Greeks, especially their hero’s. The two main heroes of the Greeks were Achilles and Odysseus, from the two great Epic poems. Although, the heroes Odysseus and Achilles from Homer’s epics the Iliad and Odyssey display several differences and similarities.