The Battle Between Egoism and Altruism in the Iliad

903 WordsNov 4, 20124 Pages
The Battle Between Egoism and Altruism in The Iliad Being that I am a recovering addict, I have been looking at my actions more in depth and have come to the realization that all of my actions had a motive to them I believe. I was acting on egoism rather than altruism. Altruism is defined as the unselfish concern of the welfare of others while egoism is defined as the belief that self-interest is the motive for all human conduct. Upon doing my fourth step inventory, I was able to see how my actions were used to manipulate people into having them do what I wanted, which would be a form of egoism. Although I may have thought I was acting altruistically, analysis proved that I was not doing a good deed expecting nothing in return.…show more content…
After mocking Paris for retreating, Hector twice is depicted leading the retreat back for the city when he sees Patroklos in the battle (whom he believes is Achilles). He returns back to the battle after Glaucus and his uncle shame him. Hector is acting on egoism as he is looking in the best interest of himself when he leaves the battle. If he were truly being altruistic, he would have stayed and fought till the end to defend his city. However, Hector is a human who is mortal and thus was looking out for his own self. Driven by his own will to live, Hector acts egoistically. Achilles and Hector seem to switch roles from the beginning of the epic poem to the end. Achilles is the egoist who becomes an altruist to fight for the honor of his beloved friend. On the other hand, Hector is the altruist looking out for the best interest of the city who becomes an egoist, only fighting for his own glory. Human beings, as shown in through these characters, are neither completely good nor evil, but more of an amalgamation of both. That is what truly makes us human; we can neither be perfect nor act completely selfish. People can change, for better or for worse, and the ebb and flow of life brings us to act differently under each circumstance. Someone who was once thought to act selflessly in an instant can become egocentric and

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