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Pride in Homer's Iliad - Term Paper Example

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Name Class Instructor Date Pride in Homer’s Iliad For the reader to better understand the character flaw of “pride” in Homer’s Iliad, it must first be emphasized that during the time of the story “Iliad”, both the Greek and Trojan people were still a warrior society…
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Pride in Homers Iliad
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Download file to see previous pages While these value systems are not bad by themselves, they could prove to be destructive when taken to the extreme because it would lead to “pride”. A sense of honor and dignity might be healthy but when pride takes over, this is where trouble begins because it consumes a man to be foolish. True enough, pride was almost the sole cause of the downfall of almost all of the main protagonists in the Iliad that caused them their lives and those troops they are in command. Pride was prominent between the three main characters of Homer’s Iliad which caused the Trojan War. First, it was with King Menelaus of Sparta who was outraged when Paris seduced his wife Helen who eloped with him. True, King Menelaus of Sparta had every right to be mad against Paris with the taking of his wife, but it is not enough reason to wage war on another country that would kill soldiers and civlians alike who has nothing to do with his quarrel not to mention the destruction that his waging of war will bring. But being a cuckold King, Menelaus pride was slighted so he called on his brother Agammemnon to help him wage war with the Trojans and so the Trojan War was set in motion killing fine men and women and even heroes in the process. Agammemnon on his part was also full of pride. When his war bride Chryseis was returned to her father Chryses, the Priest of Apollo to pacify the god Apollo and end the plagued that pestered his army, he coveted another man’s wife. Of all people, it was the bride of his best warrior undermining their war efforts against the Trojans. Agammemnon was quoted; “Still I am willing to give her back, if such is the best way. I myself desire that my people be safe, not perish. Find me then some prize that shall be my own, lest I only among the Argives go without, since that were unfitting (1.116-119)” He spoke of a woman as if it was a trophy to bolster his pride and when it was taken away from him, he coveted the woman whom he thought to be the next best prize which is Briseis, the war bride of Achilles. To the modern mind, this is very ridiculous because it would surely create an internal conflict within the Greek army that would weaken their force when they attack the Trojans. But never mind the consequences as long as Agammemnon’s pride is fed by having the second best wife around. In fact, pride seems to be the only language that Agammemnon can talk because he also used it to challenge Odysseus to fight harder by calling him a slack that Odysseus out of his ilk of Agammemnon’s picking on his fighting ability replied; “What is this word that broke through the fence of your teeth, Atreides? How can you say that, when we Achaians waken the bitter war god on Trojans, breakers of horses, I hang back from fighting? Only watch, if you care to and if it concerns you, the very father of Telemachos locked with the champion Trojans, breakers of horses. Your talk is wind, and no meaning” (4.350-355) Also, when Agammemnon has to do his preparatory talk to his army to motivate them before going to war, he appealed to their sense of pride to fight harder for them to be victorious and get out of the war safely thus appealing; 'Be men now, dear friends, and take up the heart of courage, and have consideration for each other in the strong encounters, since more come through alive when men consider each other, and there is no glory when they give ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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