Homer’s “The Iliad” uses Achilles, our epic hero, as a demonstration of the power rage has over men, and how that in turn affects fate. Achilles, though sometimes considered godlike in his sheer power, often succumbs to his overwhelming rage--eventually at the expense of his best friend’s life, and nearly his own honor. Although Achilles ultimately chooses to avenge Patroclus’ death and achieve his own kleos, his initial rage-fueled decision to withdraw his participation in the war leads to the death of many Achaean soldiers at the hands of the Trojan forces, thus demonstrating the power prideful rage has in determining fate. Achilles’ initial refusal to battle alongside Agammemnon, motivated by his fury at being publicly shamed, leads to
Agamemnon’s taking of Briseis enrages Achilles and spurs him to remove himself from the war, leading to a massive death toll in the Achaean forces. In stealing Briseis from Achilles, he is not only robbing of him of a material prize, but also a symbol of honor, his geras, in Greek culture. In retaliation, Achilles removes himself from the war and prays to his mother, Thetis, that she will ask Zeus to damage the Achaean forces. Achilles’ only goal is that “even mighty Atrides can see how mad he was to disgrace Achilles” (1.488-490). Despite having no true grievance against the Achaean army as a whole, Achilles’ rage blinds him from the potential harm that may befall his troops.
The consequence of his decision is that shortly after Polyphemus devours most of his men but this bolsters him to conjure a plan to escape. After he successfully exits the cave by blinding the cyclopes, he and his surviving men board the ship. As a result of his pride, he calls out to the monster, "If anyone asks who put out your eye, tell them it was Odysseus of Ithaca!”(Hinds 109). Considering the fact Polyphemus is the son of Poseidon, the cyclops calls out to him and therefore starts the troublesome voyage for Odysseus back home. When he returns to Ithaca he learns to control his hubris by replacing it with patience.
What does Achilles ask of his mother when Briseis is taken from him, and how does his mother react? When Briseis is taken, Achilles goes to his mother weeping and asks her to go to Zeus to assist the Trojans to surround and overpower the Greeks. Once the Greek soldiers have been killed, they will be able to know and appreciate Agamemnon for what he is, and further allow Agamemnon to see how foolish of him to dishonor Achilles, the best fighter among the Achaeans. When Achilles’ mother heard of her son’s
Once Achilles decided to return to battle, anger and pride still possessed him, and the actions of Achilles after killing Hector that he did not care about his reputation. Homer writes, “Achilles still would not dismiss his Myrmidons...“Charioteers in fast formation - friends to the death!” (559). Gloating in victory, Achilles did not refrain himself from killing even more Trojans and fought to death just so that he could bask in more glory. Also, although not describe in The Iliad, Achilles went to such extremes after killing Hector, that he even lost his own life in battle (Krause). Not suffering a valiant death as a result of the war, Achilles died once his pride consumed him and encouraged him to kill for entertainment.
Throughout Book 22, Achilles tries again and again to chase down and kill Hector, and is finally able to do so. Before he actually kills Hector, he tells him “I wish my stomach would let me cut off you flesh in strips and eat it raw for what you’ve done to me” (Iliad, Book 22, 384-86). Shortly after Achilles allows the Greeks to stand around and continually stab the corpse of Hector. However, not even this brutality satisfied Achilles. Eventually, he ended up completely disgracing Hector’s dead body in front of all of Troy, tying him up to a chariot and dragging him around, being “defiled in his own native land” (Iliad, Book 22, 449).
Antigone wants her brother to receive proper burial rites in the play “Antigone”, written by Sophocles. In the lead up to the play, two brothers fight till death in order to receive the beloved power over Thebes. In the dual between the two brothers, Polyneices met fatality while bringing mischief upon the city of Thebes. Consequently, the King, Creon, declared that Polyneices’s proper burial rites should be revoked. Antigone was driven by tradition and her family values to bury her deceased brother; thus forthe, she was readily willing to suffer her punishment.
However, Antony quickly averts the audience's thoughts. The people question why they had suddenly began to show hate towards Caesar when Antony says “you all did love him once, not without cause:/ What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him? (3.2.111-113)” Ambition is often mentioned throughout the play and has a deep role in the events that take place. Brutus tries extensively to make himself sound heroic in order to gain more honor. He continues by saying “as he was/ valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I/ slew him (3.2.27-28).” Through these words he shows the people what he is capable of doing and how conflicts must be resolved.
The obvious characteristics include godlike strength and bravery. They typically have an appearance that attracts those around them. Greek heroes, unlike modern day heroes, were selfish as they only cared about their honor and glory. Greek heroes are destined to live a short life, so they avoid running away from battle in hopes to obtain the greatest honor. Because heroes care so much about their pride and glory, they perform an act of hubris before they meet their tragic fate.
Gilgamesh was filled with sorrow because of the death of Enkidu, but he left his own people just for their own progress. Its mission is based on selfishness and greed. Conversely, Hector left his family to fight Achilles. Andromache told Hector that Achilles had killed his father, his brother and took his mother as a slave. Hector was selfish and filled with too much pride to stay at home and not fight.