Essay Title: 

The Iliad

March 17, 2016 | Author: | Posted in advanced art, art

The heroes of Iliad , Homer ‘s immortal epic on the Trojan War , are depicted at their rawest : brutal , lustful , savage . Unlike the knights of Camelot , they made no pretenses either of chivalry or code of honor Not that men were worse during that age the low technological level of warfare demanded it (Kaplan . The worth of each man was measured by his efficiency to kill and survive . Yet for all their savagery the warriors on both sides recognized heroism and adored heroes : men who rose above themselves and triumphed against formidable odds by [banner_entry_middle]

virtue of their strength and valor . This study discusses some of the heroes besides Diomed , Aeneas , Ajax , Sarpedon , Patroclus , and the other brave warriors who distinguished themselves at Troy

Golden-haired , god-like Achilles personifies the timeless perception of what a hero should be . Conqueror of twelve cities and bravest of the Achaeans , he was huge , fleet-footed , and strong . According to Homer , he alone could wield his giant ashen spear , and draw the massive iron bolt from his gate (19 .389 . of the Trojans except Hector and Aeneas , nor even the Greeks except perhaps Odysseus or gigantic Ajax could stand up to him in hand-to-hand combat . He was , according to mythology , invincible . Schooled both in war and in the arts , he could play the lyre and sing of heroic deeds (9 .185 . Reveling in the thrill of battle , he cared little for the spoils of war (1 :164-165 He was determined and sure of his prowess . He was also capable of affection , although his immense love for Patroclus and fondness for Briseis also brought to the fore his frightening capacity for hatred and destruction (18 .330-335

Despite his heroic qualities , Achilles was selfish , as all men are , but at the expense of his friends and allies . To avenge the insult heaped upon him by Agamemnon ‘s taking of Briseis , he sulked in his tent to drive home the point that without him the Greeks would be helpless at the murderous hands of Hector (1 .240 . He forbade his Myrmidons to fight while the Greeks suffered grievously in the hands of the Trojans who took advantage of his absence . He was ruthless , implacable remorseless , and unforgiving . A man , much less a hero , is supposed to be magnanimous in victory as well as gracious in defeat . But Achilles shamed the Achaean hosts by his cruelty over the body of Hector whom he dragged mercilessly outside the gates of Troy for nine days in full view of his grieving kin and dragging it further to his camp long after Patroclus had been avenged (24 .15 . Only upon remembering his own father and the death of Patroclus did he acquiesce to the pitiful pleas of Priam who had stooped to the unspeakable humiliation of kissing the hands of the slayer of his sons (24 .479 .510 . His resolve to stay away from the fighting due to Agamemnon ‘s insult may be viewed as a normal recourse to assuage his wounded pride , even… [banner_entry_footer]

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