The Golden Age Of Greece Essay

1603 WordsOct 10, 20167 Pages
‘I entreat you, by your life, by your knees, by your parents, do not let the dogs feed on me by the ships of the Achaians… give my body to be taken home again, so that the Trojans and the wives of the Trojans may give me in death my rite of burning’ (22.338-343). This heart wrenching plea represents nearly the final words uttered by Hektor upon his death at the hands of Achilles. Hektor, who recently boasted of his martial prowess, vowing just moments before to do ‘some big thing first, that men to come shall know of it’ (22.305), is reduced to begging before his killer for the basic privilege of an honorable burial. In this moment of his famous Iliad, Homer offers a cynical reflection on human life and the social constructs mortals establish, especially the idea of the ‘heroic code’ that was so prominent during the Golden Age of Greece. Demonstrably, he implies throughout the work that since all humans are destined to die and memories have limited effect after death, the entire concept of the ‘heroic code’- and to a certain extent, conviction in worldly systems instead of personal beliefs- are pointless given the natural chaos of the world and man’s ultimate fate. Throughout the Iliad, conviction in a heroic code, and perhaps conviction itself, are most firmly embodied by Hektor. The heroic code was a common belief system to which many of the ancient heroes subscribed that was fixated primarily upon the idea of kleos- glory. Glory in battle, and the accompanying

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