Importance Of Heroism In The Iliad

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“The Iliad has been called from the beginning to end a poem of death yet one could also argue that form beginning to end the Iliad is a poem of life. In the world of the poem war is the medium of human existence and achievement. Bravery and excellence in the battle win honor and glory, and thus endow life with meaning. The Iliad is both a poem of death and poem of life. In the other words it is a poem of mortality.” -Seth L Schein. An epic according to Aristotle is a poem about men in action. It deals with events which have a certain grandeur and importance and come from a life of action, especially of violent action such as war. It gives a special pleasure because its events and persons increase our belief in the worth of human achievement…show more content…
The narrative would lead us to a paradox regarding the glory being acclaimed by Achilles. Are his actions or decisions he takes worthy of epic hero? Is it necessary for the epic hero to be the central protagonist? Is Hector an epic hero or a tragic protagonist? The basic definition of heroism would have you believe that it is someone who has great courage, brave, selfless and aims at achieving noble end. The Iliad is concerned with heroes; ordinary soldiers are not given much attention. In battle what matters is glory not victory or defeat. The Homeric heroes motivation for fighting in the first place were honor(time) and glory or fame(kelos). Honor and glory are closely related. Ones glory depends to a large extent on the honor offered by one’s peers. But glory also serves as the only true form of immortality available to Homeric heroes. They live on what peoples say.Defeat heroically endured is glorious, perhaps little less than victory. The epic is high tragedy. In Iliad the paradoxical values of war and peace are both upheld. Peace is desirable and destruction of cities is nightmarish. Honor has the prime value. The brave has to prove himself and so war is inevitable- the enemy cannot be shown mercy, cities have to be sacked and all miseries heaped upon the

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