The Hero Archetype In The Iliad

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To analyse the hero archetype, we must first look to Greece and the poet Homer. The word 'hero' itself comes from Ancient Greece, meaning, at first, an aristocratic man, but later came to mean a specific dead person, worshipped at their tomb because of their fame during their life time. In Homer's epic poem 'The Iliad', we see one such hero in the form of Achilles, a hero that, even today, we hear stories of. This is partially because he epitomizes a specific type of hero, a Homeric hero, that follows key characteristics seen in both of Homer's 'heroic epics' (the characters Achilles and Odysseus). Achilles shows valiance, furor, individualism and pride, making him an extremely self-centred hero and in turn, making his character an extremely…show more content…
Furor is a Latin term used to describe 'an outbreak of public anger or excitement', basically extreme emotion. Achilles possesses furor in the form of rage throughout many parts of the Iliad. It's not surprising, given that rage is the first word in the epic poem. The best example of this is when, like previously stated, Hector kills Patroclus. His rage is severe and makes him brash, in fact, this is where the most brutal acts in The Iliad occur. Achilles is so possessed by this furor that he mutilates Trojan bodies, takes on the river god Xanthas and, as stated, kills Hector and desecrates his corpse, known to the audience when it is said that 'Jove had now delivered him into the hands of his foes to do him outrage in his own land.' The Iliad makes it clear that his rage and furor is menin, a Greek term used to describe the 'rage of gods' and incomparable to human rage. His furor is also exemplified when he agrees to return Hector's body to his father, at which point, Achilles weeps for him. This culmination of exaggerated emotions makes Achilles a unique hero as he is not entirely perfect, he too has weaknesses and flaws. However he is still more godly than anything, it would be hard to relate to such a hero given his near
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