War In The Iliad Essays

War In The Iliad Essays-13
For example, Paris demonstrates this trait by being with Helen while the war is being fought.Through the decisions and actions of Hector, Achilles, Patroclus, and Paris, it is evident that military glory is more important than family life. Take your stand on the rampart here, before you orphan your son and make your wife a widow" (Fagles 210).

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By leaving Achilles and going into battle, Patroclus demonstrates this trait.

The non-heroic characters choose family life over military glory and are viciously criticized for it.

It is this idea that Homer seeks to expound in his epic poem, "The Iliad." Throughout his poem, Homer depicts the degree to which honor plays a role in the lives of the Greeks, and the manner in During the course of the battle, Hektor returns home in order to visit his wife.

It is here that he is faced with the choice that all warriors must contend with: remain at home and lead a long life of peace and anonymity or return to battle and earn honor.

A person's character is dictated by their actions.

In The Iliad, Homer forces the characters to choose between being with their family and achieving glory from fighting in the war.

Hektor's wife, knowing that a return to battle is the equivalent of death, entreats her husband to remain at home, "..have no pity..me..soon must be your widow..for me it would be far better to sink into the earth when I have lost you..." (VI 406-8) Hektor claims that despite his worry about abandoning his wife and son, he is unable to stay at home as "...

I would feel deep shame before the Trojans..like a coward I were to shrink aside from the fighting; and the spirit will not let me, since I have learned to be valiant...winning for my own self great glory and for my father." (VI 441-45) The need to attain human immortality is so imbedded in Hektor's psyche, that even the knowledge that his actions will leave his son an orphan and his wife a widow, is unable to convince him to relinquish his quest for everlasting honor and glory.

Hector chooses to enter battle instead of staying with his wife and son. Andromache realizes the danger that Hector is headed towards, and she wants him to stay so he can remain her husband and father to his son.

Leaving his family devastates Hector, but he "would die of shame" (210) if he did not fight for Troy.


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