Heroism In The Iliad

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The greatest literary works reflect the human condition: from adversity come epiphanies of wisdom and heroism. Despite varying time periods and cultures, literature shows how solely through hardship can humanity heroically advance with wisdom. For example, The Iliad’s conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans show the wisdom of humanity in war and the heroic acts of war. The Iliad and The Biography of the Prophet show the human condition of suffering as the sole means of bringing heroic acts and the advancement of humanity in wisdom. In The Iliad, the suffering in war provides the way for the characters can gain glory though heroic acts. According to the “Civilizations Chart”, Greek culture is a warrior based-culture where wars give opportunities for glory. Despite the permanence of death,…show more content…
The argument can be made that heroic acts can be performed without the backdrop of conflict. However, without conflict, these acts of heroism in war would be considered criminal. In Greek culture, taking someone’s wife is criminal. Even the Trojan War started because Paris took Helen. However, taking a concubine as a war prize is considered normal. In war-time, killing is celebrated in cases of victory, but in times of peace the unprovoked killing of another person is a crime. After a victory over the Trojans, the Greeks not only mourn the life of Patroclus by also have a tournament in memory of Patroclus. Although The Iliad is an epic poem driven by war and heroism complemented by wisdom in war. Although The Iliad is known as an epic poem, the poem contrasts the conflict of war as the sole method to further understand wisdom in humanity. From the grief of the Greeks and the Trojans comes greater understanding of the price of war. According to “The Type of Stories Chart” the epic poem is categorized as a success story of Greeks in the Trojan war, but the poem sobers the success of the Greeks with the constant reminder of death in war. In
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