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What Characteristics of the Ideals of a Hero are Revealed in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey - Essay Example

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Epics are narrative poems. It is characteristically lengthy as it documents the heroes’ deeds and events that are significant to a nation. Epics are traditionally orally transmitted since people then were preliterate. …
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What Characteristics of the Ideals of a Hero are Revealed in Homers Iliad and Odyssey
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Download file to see previous pages The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer are two of the most famous Greek epics to have survived. Up to now, they are enjoyed by many, read by a wide range of audience. This is quite impressive, because the Greek mythology existed since it was first composed sometime between 9th and 6th BC. The epics are written in poetry form. They cover only a part of the Trojan War: The Iliad covers a small part (the middle and the end) of the War and The Odyssey follows Odysseus’ journey back to his hometown Ithaca after the Trojan War. It is similar in structure, even in plot, as it follows the adventures of two heroes and their adventures. As they are part of the Greek culture, they surely reflect on the importance of Greek Mythology, especially during their adventures. These epics verge on the fantastic (as epics should) as they enlist the help of the Gods and Goddesses through adversities. Even the characters are sometimes demigods themselves, as they are children of the Gods. These epics show that the people believe that mere mortals are like playthings to the Gods, as human behavior are always the product of the Gods’ and Goddesses’ decisions and reactions to human behavior.
The Iliad starts nine years after the start of the Trojan War; towards the end of it. It starts with Chryseis being captured by Agamemnon and Briseis being captured by Achilles. ...
Apollo then sends a plague to the Achaeans. Many Achaeans died, and when Agamemnon learned that his hostage was the cause, he immediately returned her but asked Achilles’ for Briseis as a replacement for his. Insulted, Achilles called to his mother (Thetis, a sea nymph) to ask the services of Zeus. He also refused to go to war anymore. Thus, the Trojans and the Acheans forge a cease fire but the Trojans break it, attacking the Acheans. Concerned for his comrades, but still too proud to help them, Achilles lends his armor to Patroclus. Hector slays Patroclus with the help of the God Apollo, and claims the armor; this angered Achilles and vowed to fight again, to avenge Patroclus. Now because Hector does not expect that Achilles will join the battle, he was caught off guard. Eventually, they had both dueled with each other and Hector was slain. As a winner, he lashes out Hector’s body and drags it across the Aechean camp. He did this for nine days. Then Gods decide that Hector’s body should be properly buried. So Zues sends Hermes to escort Hector’s father, King Priam, into the Aechean camp. King Priam pleads to Achilles to let him take home Hector’s body and invokes the memory of Peleus. With this, Achilles was deeply moved and relents. Hector’s body was given back to the Trojans and he was given a proper hero’s funeral as the city mourns for his death. In the end, both sides agree to a truce. The Iliad has Achilles as the main hero. Like all epic heroes, he is fantastic. In fact, he is a demigod. He is the son of the King Peleus and the sea nymph Thetis. He is often characterized as the handsomest hero in epics. He is also deemed invulnerable except for his heel; his mother had ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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