The Iliad

1.    I found the Iliad to be somewhat of an amusing read, not due to the war scenes that depict images of violence and destruction, but because of all the characters and how Homer portrays them.   It almost seems like a soap opera between all the gods.   All the gods spend so much time with petty arguments between themselves and manipulating the humans to their liking, it definitely ads drama and length to The Iliad.

Two main characters, Hector and Achilles, have many similarities and differences.   Both men and there presence gives hope and courage to men on the battle field.   When Patroclus disguised himself in Achilles’s armor, the Greeks moral and passion to win the battle instantly returned, merely at the sight of “Achilles’.   He is a figure that men look up to and revere.   Hector, being the prince, and brother of Paris, has a likewise affect on his men too.   He is usually at the front, leading his men into battle.   Both at times let pride blind their decision making.   Hector and Achilles miss a lot of the battle (Achilles more, he doesn’t enter until the end of the Iliad).   Hector, however, misses parts of the battle due to his cowardliness.   He tucks his tail and runs when the Trojans are being pushed back.   Even though he was manipulated quite a bit by the gods, his absence was due to his lack of courage.   Achilles on the other hand, was incredibly proud.   He sat it his tent licking his wounds while all his comrades were in the thick of battle.   He was slighted by Agamemnon, and to get back at him, sits in his tent pitying himself and therefore great casualties are incurred to his fellow countrymen.

Hector to me seems to have a better sense of loyalty to his fellow Trojans.   Despite the few times he retreats (his men follow), he has a better sense of the familial code towards his countrymen.   Achilles however, does not.   His pride overthrows his connection to his countrymen.   After he is insulted by Agamemnon,   he curses them all and prays to Zeus for their destruction.   The only thing that over throws that and reconnects him to his fellow warriors his the death of his good friend Patroclus.

2.   Priam travels to Achilles tent, and begs for Hectors body back.   He urges Achilles to think of the love he has for his father and friend.   I believe that this action brings to Achilles attention the disrespectfulness of his actions, and for once, he thinks of someone else’s feelings.   He is no loner self-absorbed and prideful.   He thinks of how his own father will soon be like Priam as soon as his destiny is fulfilled.   The end of The Iliad leaves Achilles with a softened heart and a change of character.

3.   You need the warrior code to defend the familial code otherwise the latter will be manipulated by malignant forces. You need the familial code to keep the warrior code in check, the two are interrelated.   Each code would not be the same or even exist without the other.

2 thoughts on “The Iliad

  1. nelsoncrockett

    That is a great staring sentence and I do agree that the Iliad is more of a soap opera than a war story in many aspects.

  2. megkwag

    I thought it was like a soap opera too! They battled and battled, and battled some more! I also agree with your statement about Achilles being brought back to attention when Priam urges him to think about the love that he has for his father.

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