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The Importance Of Honor And Glory In Homer's Iliad

Decent Essays
Honour and glory are central to the Greek character. Since heroes are the essence of the society from which they come, Greek heroes live their lives according to honour and glory, in all their varied forms. Honour and glory trigger an epic war that takes the lives of numerous men, and shape its development at every stage. The fall of Troy is “a thing… whose glory shall perish never (Homer, Iliad 2.324)”. The goal of the Greeks is the fame that resounds even after death, and they let nothing bar their way. The honour of the individual, family, and community guide every action and response. Honour and glory define the hero, and therefore are the foundations for everything that comes to pass in Homer’s Iliad.

The concepts of honor and glory are critical to understanding the motivation of the heroes in Homer’s Iliad1 . Glory was gained by great, heroic actions and deeds and was conferred upon an individual by others who witnessed and acclaimed the glorious actions. Major battles provided an opportunity for many to find glory at once. Honor was similar to glory, but while the public had to view actions and deem them glorious, each individual maintained their own sense of personal honor which did not always coincide with honor as defined or perceived by the masses. Honor was gained through heroism in battle, but also through compelling speechmaking, loyalty and other noble qualities that a person might demonstrate. Having honor and glory allowed a Greek to gain influence in
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