Extreme Pride And Hubris In The Iliad

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Hubris is one of the many themes that were brought up in the Iliad. Its definition is extreme pride and arrogance shown by a person that will bring downfall to that person or to others. The first time this theme is brought up is when Helen leaves with Paris. Agamemnon uses Helen as an excuse to rile up all the Greek kings. Agamemnon knew that if they beat Troy, then he would control a major passage of trade which would make him the undisputed ruler of all of Greece. But, while all the kings gathered in Greece, the gods would not send a fair wind for the ships to sail. Agamemnon said, “Give me a fair wind and a hope of glory if it will cost me my kingdom and my life.” He is then told by the Greek prophet, Calchas, that the king would have to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia at the temple of Artemis in order to sail. Agamemnon was shocked, and refrained from doing anything. Yet, when the days grew long and the kings began to blame Agamemnon, he feared the kings would leave. His pride was wounded, and so he took Iphigenia to the temple of Artemis. In the skies, even the hunting goddess Artemis, was shocked at Agamemnon’s deed. She took one…show more content…
Achilles is maddened and appeals to his goddess mother saying, “If I am to die soon, shouldn’t I have what I want?” Feeling only sorrow for her son, Thetis requests Zeus to cause to Greeks to lose until Achilles fights again. Slowly the Greeks are pushed back farther and Agamemnon pleads with Achilles, offering Briseis back. Achilles declines due to his pride and the Trojans come close to burn the Greek ships. Even when a ship was burning, Achilles refused to fight and instead sends out Patroclus. Eventually Patroclus gets killed. Achilles is humiliated and regrets his actions. He vows to avenge Patroclus’ death. His humility causes him to fight to redeem himself, he returns back to the path of being a hero. These examples are only a few of the many that are in the Iliad, but they explain exactly what hubris

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