In the epic poem, the Iliad written by Homer, several characters taking part in the warfare between the Achaeans and the Trojans are portrayed as embodying the heroic code of courage, physical strength, leadership, arete of value of honour, and the acceptance of fate. The heroic code is illustrated by the actions of the Trojan prince, Hector and the Achaeans strongest warrior, Achilles. Both of these characters display the Greek’s image of a hero, and can also let the reader discern what the society admires, looks up to and aspires to in its heroes. There are also characters who fail to be heroic, such as the Trojan “vivid and beautiful” prince, Paris. These characters in the Iliad illustrate the qualities that Ancient Greek society values.
Immortality through Glory One of the most common tools writers use to put certain ideas into the spotlight is repetition. In Homer’s Greek epic, The Iliad, he applies the employment of repetition to the old horseman Nestor’s speeches. The context and tone of Nestor’s reiterated speeches serve as a window into Homer’s underlying message that in the context of war, glory is the key for men to gain some form of immortality. In order to demonstrate Homer’s message, Nestor’s speeches dial through two methods in which Nestor advises the Achaean men throughout the book. The first consists of speeches delivered in a nostalgic, prideful flavor as he speaks of his heroic past, using himself as an example.
Homer’s depiction of the nature and character of war itself seem to be unmerciful in its raw form. Throughout the course of book seven of the epic, The Iliad, many events and actions of the characters are in the motive of war and winning a battle. A war in its raw form is where characters are pitted against other characters for the sake of a battle and defeating their enemy, whether they want to annihilate them or to win the spoils of war. The characters in this book when fighting in battles appear to be almost patriotic for their army and are unmerciful. They are passionate in the art of fighting and are eager for it.
Red Badge of Courage Before the war Henry has romanticized ideas of glory and courage but when he nears war his courage falters and he tries to validation of his fear in his peers. When confronted with violence Henry is like a machine fighting off the enemy. This courage Henry had to stand his ground and fight disappeared at the second battle and Henry fled during the battle. The Red Badge of Courage follows Henry’s changing ideas of courage until he finds a lasting form of it. Henry search for courage leads searching for answers in his peers, through his imagination, and the dead bodies he comes across.
It becomes known that Beowulf intends on defeating Grendel alone. Others become greatly concerned with the pride that Beowulf holds and fear that it will soon catch up to him. Beowulf’s fight with Grendel, in Herot, is where Beowulf’s battle prowess is first exhibited. The battle with the monster results in the heightened effects of Beowulf’s pride and his vision of himself as a warrior. After killing Grendel, Beowulf’s men describe him as “the mighty protector of men” and “Edgetho’s brave son.” Since Beowulf defeated a monster that no other man could kill, Beowulf is immediately heralded as a hero.
Perhaps the quest for eternal life was nothing more than a chance to prove that eternal life is unachievable. Therefore, there was no way Gilgamesh could have saved Enkidu. Despite the many options, the Epic suggests that Gilgamesh did truly want to find eternal life. He was terrified of death and sinking to the levels of those who passed before him. He wanted to live forever so that he could truly show the world all the might and power of which he is
To begin with, Henry is determined. In the battle scenes, he is willing to fight to win and defeat the Confederates. In the novel, it states, “He felt the quiver of war desire. In his ears, he heard the ring of victory” (67). At the beginning, he knew that he was going to win the battles.
In the poem, The Odyssey, Homer gives us insight of how a tough, cunning, and wise man is brought through twenty years of suffering to reach is home that he weeps for so much. Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, is a man that is looked at as a celebrity by humans because of his skillful fighting, and by the gods because of his intelligence and wits. The king went through numerous tasks and obstacles to get back to his homeland. One task in particular proves his power and the love he has for his loyal and wise wife, Penelope. Looking at lines four hundred fifty-one through four hundred seventy-one, the moment Odysseus, while disguised by the God Athena, proves to the suitors and workers that he is the rightful husband, king, and lord by stringing his own bow and shooting it through twelve axes; the task was quick and perfect for Odysseus.
Beowulf was also unfortunate to have to meet some of the greatest outcasts during his time. The motives that make Beowulf the hero he developed into in the poem would be his burning passion to live up to his peers highest expectations, and to look past the difficulty of any task to take on the challenges thrown his way. Beowulf’s first challenge is the battle against Grendel. Then, he defends his honor by taking on a fight with Grendel’s mother. The final piece of his legacy is his battle against the dragon that claimed his life.
He often comes face to face with the wrath of Greek Gods, but always discovers a way in which he can return home as well as protect his beloved crewmates. Any reader should be able to take away the lessons being taught, as well as received, by a brave leader like Odysseus. Though heros are rare, they certainly were not born into such a honorable title. In order to be truly classified as a heroic figure someone must begin to dedicate themselves to a lifestyle of chaos, the way Odysseus had to better those around him. In the event that there is an obstacle a team must overcome, such as the journey home that Odysseus and his crewmates are making, it is important the leader of these individuals is willing to sacrifice.