The Role Of A Hero In The Iliad

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The idea of who a hero should or should not be has changed drastically over the years, as have most things. In modern-day society we see a hero as someone who is selfless, bold, courageous, and honest. We see heroes as strong leaders of our society, someone who we would not mind our kids looking up to. In an era such as when the Iliad is written, the definition of a hero is much different. One of the main characters in the novel, Achilles, is looked up to by his peers as a fearless heroic warrior. When in modern day society, we would see him as a blood-thirsty lunatic. Achilles was not a hero, simply because he was selfish, distrustful, and he acted upon his own instinct without thought of the repercussions he would cause for those around him. The Iliad is a novel about the Trojan War. Previous to the war, three goddesses, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite are competing to see who is the best. This contest is to be judged by Paris, the son of Priam, King of Troy. Hera, goddess of marriage and Queen of Olympus, offered Paris rule over all of Asia. Athena, goddess of wisdom, courage and warfare offers Paris military success. Last but not least, Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, offers Paris the most beautiful women in the world. Paris, being the young and foolish man he is, chooses Aphrodite. The promise is fulfilled and Paris is gifted Helen, wife of Menelaus, and the most beautiful mortal woman in the world. After Paris seduces Helen, they sail away together back to Troy,

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