Analysis Of Homer 's ' The Iliad ' Essay

761 Words Oct 4th, 2015 4 Pages
In Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, both the Achaean and Trojan abide to a strict hero culture that demands they attain eternal glory in combat. However, in this pursuit for everlasting glory, the Achaean and Trojan warriors display radically different mannerisms on the battlefield. Where the Trojans preserve their sense of civilly and morals in the brutality of war, the Achaeans are stripped of their humanity as the Trojan War progresses. Using Homer’s similes, this paper will examine the Achaean’s loss of humanity by their animalistic inclinations, indifference to pleas of mercy, and destructive presence on the battlefield — all ideas that conflict with the civilized mannerisms exuded by the Trojans. Throughout the Iliad, Homer compares the Achaeans’ desire for bloodshed as an animalistic urge. In Book 5, Diomedes’ “mauls [Trojans] thick-and-fast, pilling corpse on corpse” (Homer 5.157) like a lion. This comparison emphasizes Diomedes’ insatiable appetite for destruction and his deteriorating human nature and values. Diomedes actions no longer resemble those of a civilized man, but those of “a tawny lion” (11.644). Where the Achaean heroes are compared as savage beasts during battle, the Trojans. The Trojans warriors they retain their human qualities and morals that defines them as men and not beasts. In Book 12, the actions of Hector is not compared to any bloodthirsty beast, but as a “flashing eagle” (12 — a symbol often associated with Zeus — that surveys the battlefield…

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