Essay about Masculinity : The Greatest Expression Of Masculinity

719 Words Sep 27th, 2016 3 Pages
In the Homer epics, the greatest expression of masculinity is defined by the decisions of the characters. The Greeks viewed courage as the essence of masculinity. Homer highlights this belief by expressing it through the actions of the warriors within the epic. Furthermore, the warrior culture presented in the Iliad revolves around masculine ideas such as duty and courage. Based on the Iliad, the idea of being a valiant hero is tantamount to being a real man. The war environment is where the warriors can cement their identity as a man. Diomedes encompasses the warrior culture by stating “I know only cowards depart from battle. / A real warrior stands his ground / Whether he is hit or hits another” (Iliad 11.432-435). Choosing to be a coward is seen as the worst way to establish your manhood. As seen throughout the Iliad, cowards are chastised for their hatred of war or refusal to join the battle. The warrior culture is also imbued with the idea of fatalism. The Greek and Trojan soldiers are aware that the war ends with the fall of Troy, yet they continuously fight until one side is subdued by the stronger army. There is no reason the Trojans should continue this frustrating encounter if they are doomed to fall, yet they continue to persevere towards their inevitable downfall. Paris’, a prince of Troy, actions do not align with the main qualities of masculinity but he is able to express his masculinity through power.
Several characters struggle with the societal expectations…

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