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Why achilles should not be considered a hero in the modern sense

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Who would you consider to be the real hero in The Iliad? Or, Who would you consider to be the central hero in The Iliad? A hero or heroine refers to characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity.

This definition originally referred to martial courage or excellence but extended to more general moral excellence.

  1. The myths have some elements that are very familiar to modern there is a sense the fact that achilles is fiercely proud does not mean that achilles is not.
  2. His honor comes through "the decree of Zeus", not his legacy among men. Not only does Achilles reject the envoy's offers of material reward, but he rejects the entire premise that glory is worth a man's life.
  3. His men are inspired to fight because they see their captain doing the same.

Achilles, King of the Myrmidons, and Hector, prince of Troy, struck me as the most sharply contrasted characters. I found that Hector had more bravery than Achilles. Not only am I arguing that Hector displayed more courage, but that he was the better man all around. In my opinion, Hector is the real hero of the epic.

While Achilles and Hector are both leaders of their people, Hector seems to lead with more maturity. His men respect him because he, in turn, is respectful of them. Hector is a man of action, he leads by doing. His men are inspired to fight because they see their captain doing the same. Hector has more self control, while at times Achilles behaves like a two year old who flies into a rage at the drop of a hat.

Achilles appears respected and revered only through the fear that he instills. People are terrified of his incredible tantrums and therefore allow him to do as he pleases.

Killing seems associated with being similar to a god. I found it interesting that the gods assist both Achilles and Hector in their respective battles.

I would think that the gods would help Hector more, because he was a just man, but Hector is handed victory by Zeus only for a short time, while Achilles always appears to have divine intervention. Even when Apollo reminds Achilles that there really is no point in trying to catch him, Achilles responds in an arrogant tone: Hector remains loyal to the gods up to his death, even though, essentially, they desert him.

As leaders of their armies, Achilles and Hector have huge responsibilities. Achilles is the deciding factor in the war, the only man who can give the Argives victory, and he knows it. How both men handle their responsibilities reveals a lot about their moral character and maturity level. An underlying reason may be the fact that he knows he will die. Just as a god refuses to hear a prayer, so also does Achilles selfishly remain deaf to the cries of the soldiers and the pleas of his comrades.

Making sense of a hero's motivation

Hector, too, knows that his death is a possibility, yet his loyalty and sense of duty will not allow him to stay home. Hector accepts this fact more readily than Achilles.

  1. Achilles is characterized his extreme abilities - both positive and negative. The Iliad is a more sophisticated and layered story than proponents of 2 give it credit for.
  2. Like the Classical Greeks, we want to believe these heroes were real.
  3. Achilles makes it clear that he now values his own life over the opinions and recognition of others.
  4. In greek mythology, would achilles be considered a demigod in greek mythology, would achilles be considered a but not in the sense of a husband. The iliad—a practical approach by the hero is considered better in most of the poet is an effective way to help them understand why achilles and.
  5. After killing Hector, he ties his body to his chariot and drags him around the city's walls in a show of animalistic rage. He may have been motivated by glory before he withdrew from battle, but afterwards his priorities shift.

One of the most powerful moments in the book is when Hector returns home to see his family. In the midst of all the carnage, we see another side to the brave Trojan warrior. He smiles and laughs, he speaks lovingly to his wife and admires his infant son. However, when reading the book in modern times, Hector comes across as the more valiant, well-rounded and noble of the two men.

Troy was a peaceful civilization and the people were not war-faring by nature. He is a man who appears most himself in relationships with others. He acts on impulse, violence is his native element.

He is inconsistent and contradicts himself. An excellent analogy would be to compare Hector and Achilles to animals.

  • So it appears there are a few possible answers to the question of what motivated Achilles to return to battle at Troy;
  • However, just as he is preparing to depart for good, his dearest friend Patroclus is killed by the Trojan prince Hector in battle;
  • But a man's life breath cannot come back again - no raiders in force, no trading brings it back, once it slips through a man's clenched teeth IX

Achilles would be a carnivore while Hector would be an omnivore. The carnivore kills and eats the chicken, for instance, without pity. The omnivore may eat the chicken, but, then again, he might show some sympathy and eat the broccoli instead. He guards the corpse as if his very life depends on it. Hector originally fights for the body of Patroclus, but then returns it out of respect.

Hector, too, has this warrior nature, but counterbalances it with compassion. Hector was the only character whose death truly had an impact on me. Without him, the doom of Troy is sealed. Throughout the entire book we are shown examples of his courage.